Why Don’t Haredim Want to Conscript Their Children? Featured

By Gamal Khattab March 13, 2024 112

Real Reasons Behind the Reluctance

Israeli writer Nehemia Strassler recently shared his thoughts on why the Haredi (Eastern) Jews are hesitant to conscript their children into the Israeli army.

Lack of Respect and Anti-Zionist Views

According to Strassler, the ultra-Orthodox community does not respect secular Israelis and even teaches their children to despise them. They do not acknowledge the state and hold anti-Zionist beliefs. To them, secular Israelis are seen as a financial resource to be taken advantage of.

View of the Government

The Haredim view the secular government as a foreign entity that should be manipulated and exploited for financial gain. They do not see the state as a source of salvation but rather as a continuation of biblical exile.

Resistance to Civic Duties

Strassler explains that the Haredim have no issue with avoiding civic responsibilities such as teaching the basic curriculum, working, or serving in the army. They see the government as a non-Jewish landowner that they must coexist with.

Questioning Military Service

When asked why they do not serve in the army, the Haredim respond by questioning why they should fight in wars that secular Israelis are involved in. They believe that sacrificing their children for the country is not something they are willing to do.

Justifications for Draft Evasion

Various reasons have been given over the years to avoid conscription, including religious arguments and claims of being exempt due to lineage. However, the true reason seems to be a desire to protect their children.

Protecting Their Children

The primary motivation behind the Haredim's resistance to military service is to safeguard the lives of their children. Even Haredi legislators are elected based on their commitment to the community's teachings.

Secular Response

Strassler calls for compulsory conscription for all Haredim without exemptions or alternative service options. However, he believes that this will not happen as long as Benjamin Netanyahu remains in power.

Impact of Netanyahu's Leadership

As long as Netanyahu is prime minister, the secular response to the Haredim is unlikely to be as strict as Strassler suggests. Netanyahu allows the Haredim to remain in their safe cities without conscription or work, as long as they support the ruling coalition.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, Strassler criticizes Netanyahu for prioritizing power over the well-being of the country. He acknowledges one positive aspect of Rabbi Yosef's actions but ultimately emphasizes the need for a more decisive approach towards the Haredim.

Source: Haaretz