Knesset Approves Haredi Soldiers

Knesset Approves Haredi Soldiers

On Sunday the Knesset in Israel approved a historic measure; it adopted the recommendations of the Plesner report that approved enlisting members of the Haredi community in the army.

The vote followed a march by 35,000 Israelis Saturday night in Tel Aviv, protesting their status as “suckers” who go to the army while Haredi youth don’t have to enlist, instead studying in yeshivas.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to the Plesner committee recommendations involving the Haredi community. Only last week Netanyahu had dissolved the Plesner committee, and his approval of the measure was reflective of the enormous public pressure to agree with the committee. A joint government committee will meet now to form legislation consistent with the Plesner recommendations.

Netanyahu said:

“The new bill must change reality, gradually increase the number of those who serve and be handled responsibly to maintain national unity. I fully understand those who serve and their families. Everyone must share the burden. We shall give positive incentives to those who serve and negative ones to those who evade draft. Draft dodgers will not receive the same as those who serve. We are doing this 64 years after the issue wasn’t handled properly. This is a historic change.”