Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the government must strive to bring about Haredi integration, as well as the integration of minorities in society, but not through de-legitimizing them and certainly not by applying criminal sanctions against them.
According to Ya’alon, himself a former IDF Chief of Staff, the term “equal burden” which has become the slogan of so many “social warriors,” is wrong, and it should be rephrased to express the willingness of Israeli citizens to take responsibility for the needs of country. Ya’alon spoke at a conference in Jerusalem honoring pre-military courses.
Minister Limor Livnat, a member in the Perry Committee on equal burden, supports Ya’alon’s position, and wants to see deleted the section in the committee recommendations that imposes criminal sanctions against yeshiva students who do not join the army, or against their deans.
Minister Livnat also wants to extend by an additional 4 years the time allotted to realizing the first phase of the recruitment program. Speaking to Reshet Bet, Livnat stressed that anyone who believes that Haredi enlistment is going to be done by force and coercion is wrong. There will be no trucks coming to transfer them to prison, she said, emphasizing that the process will be done intelligently and wisely.
In response to the announcement of Likud’s partner Israel Beiteinu, that they will not support the Perry recommendations unless they also include imposing service on the Arabs as well, Livnat said that their argument did hold water. However, she pointed out that “Israel Beiteinu signed a coalition agreements in which it agreed that recruiting Arabs would be done on a volunteer basis.”
The Ministerial Committee on Equality convened in Jerusalem on Sunday, to approve and amend the Perry Committee recommendations. The Defense Ministry’s Attorney General presented to the ministers the IDF’s proposed amendments. Representatives of the Israel Beiteinu and the Jewish Home parties threatened to vote against the recommendations if they do not include recruiting Arabs.
Jewish Home is also expected to oppose the clause stating that the Hesder yeshiva soldiers’ service term would be extended from 16 to 24 months.