Army Chief: IDF Must Enlist More Haredi

Published April 22, 2012.

The Israel Defense Force can take in more ultra-Orthodox soldiers and must finds a way to do so, army chief Benny Gantz told Haaretz in a special Independence Day interview, referring to an expected change in Israel’s enlistment laws after the Supreme Court ruled the existing legislation unconstitutional.

When asked about the possible ramifications of the annulment of the so-called Tal Law, Gantz said: “That’s a question for the politicians to decide. What I’m looking for is equality in service.”

The IDF chief said hopes should be kept down as to the immediate consequences of a change in enlistment laws, adding: “Don’t expect me to open two more elite infantry brigades tomorrow morning.”

“But I think we need to see how we expand the extent of [Haredi] service and open more tracks,” Gantz said, adding that the state should prioritize “more alternatives” for more effective ways in which Haredi soldiers could be used, beyond exclusively ultra-Orthodox units.

Gantz added that he recognized a desire, both among the Haredi community and greater Israeli society, to incorporate ultra-Orthodox soldiers into the IDF and national service tracks, so that they could “be involved.”

“I’m not a missionary organization. Not a single Haredi soldier will be discharged secular,” he added.

For more, go to Haaretz.com



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