“New Profile,” which describes itself as “a group of feminist women and men, who are convinced that we need not live in a soldiers’ state,” has been active in helping Haredi yeshiva students stay out of the army.
The New Profile mission statement argues that today’s Israel is capable of relying on “peace politics,” rather than be a “militarized society.” Very Vietnam era politics, except that the Vietnam war digested 50,000 American youths in a mad war thousands of miles away, while Israeli civilians are staring into the barrel of Arab guns right at home.
Their website sounds outright delusional, with statements like: “We are convinced that we ourselves, our children, our partners, need not go on being endlessly mobilized, need not go on living as warriors.”
Originally, New profile was founded to help Arab youths avoid the draft. “Since 2005, the Baladna Association for Arab Youth has been working together with a number of other civil and non-governmental organizations in opposing plans by the Israeli state to introduce a form of mandatory civic service for Palestinian citizens of Israel.”
They reject the idea of enlisting young Arab men and women to clean up and improve their own or neighboring Arab towns and villages, simply because this would be managed by the Zionist state.
Lest some Arab young person decide to join this government sponsored effort to improve their own neighborhood, The Coalition of Youth Against the National Service has been formed as a “grassroots movement to raise awareness and inform young Palestinians of the potential dangers and consequences of Israel’s mandatory service project, and why it constitutes a real threat to the Arab community inside Israel.”
Because, let’s face it, neglected roads, dirty streets, and understaffed clinics are much preferable to letting the Zionists come and decide to fix it up, militaristic thugs that they are.
Now, according to Mynet, it appears this NGO has discovered a whole new population group it can steer away from helping their own communities. Since the Israeli Supreme Court in 2012 killed the Tal Law that governed Haredi recruitment, thousands of Haredi yeshiva students have become exposed to the regular draft law, just like their secular or National Religious neighbors. And so a bizarre alliance has been formed between the haters of Israel on the extreme right and the extreme left.
New Profile founder and main activist Ruth Lackner Hiller told Mynet she’s been helping thousands of draft dodgers, including many Haredim.
“I may not agree with them on other issues, but they come to us asking for help getting out of the draft, and we’re there for them,” she said. “In recent months there has been a steady rise in calls to us from Jerusalem Haredim, asking for help and tips.”
Lackner Hiller established her NGO in 1994, when her own son refused to enlist, claiming pacifism. Eventually the boy received his exemption, not as a pacifist, but as unfit for military service.
Today’s IDF service is one of the easiest to avoid in the world. When politicians aren’t doing their dance, pushing their agenda, the military HR has been remarkably understanding. Personally, I find them even more impressive when they go out of their way to make it possible for many fringe individuals, including the disabled, to nevertheless enlist and serve a useful purpose in uniform, despite their limitations.
Frankly, I believe the military stands to benefit from Haredi recruits as much as they stand to benefit from their service. The IDF has always been the melting pot of Israeli society, where young people shared their lives with their counterparts from places they would never even hear about.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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