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So They Won’t Have to Serve

My son-in-law needs to believe that there will be no need for soldiers in another 18 or so years. Deep down, I want to believe that too.

BJ Rabbis Halfheartedly Walk Back Pro-Palestine Email

They're not sorry about the email, only about sending it.

Equality in Service to One’s Country

According to Rav Meir Porush, it is better for Yeshiva students to sit in jail than to serve their country.

The Palestinians: We’re in No Hurry to Sue Israel at the Hague

Jerusalem and Washington continue to argue that the Palestinian move is wrong, but both have already capitulated.

Bank of Israel Restricts Mortgages Severely, Looking to Avert Future Real Estate Crises

The new directive stops banks from giving mortgages with an LTV of more than 70%, with an exception for first-time buyers, who are allowed mortgages of up to 75% of the value of the apartment. Mortgage customers who buy an apartment for investment will be limited to 50% LTV.

Dutch Government Planning Ban on Kosher Slaughtering

The Dutch government is drafting a decree that would give it veto power over anyone who wants to practice ritual slaughter, or sh'chitah, in the Netherlands.

IDF New Guidelines for Drafting and Integrating Haredim Includes Interaction with Women

As a result of the change in the law, the IDF is putting together a number of subtracts specifically for Haredim, though no new “Haredi Only” divisions or brigades will be created. Some of the units have women serving in them, and the IDF says the role of women will not be negatively impacted by the introduction of Haredim who prefer not to interact socially with women beyond what is allowed by their community's mores.

The Draft Tragicomedy

If it weren’t so sad, the draft brouhaha in Israel would be the greatest show in town. It is a masquerade ball, a tragicomedy whereby each actor says the complete opposite of what he really wants.

Evolution Vs. Revolution in Struggle over Haredi Draft

A spokesperson for Yisrael Beytenu said, “We’ve had 64 years to evolve,” he said. “Demographically, it will be impossible to pass this bill 20 years from now.”

Israeli Political Constellation Realigns As Kadima Quits Government

For the second time in just two months, the Israeli political universe was upended when Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima Party voted to quit Israel’s governing coalition.

Liberman Buys Time for Coalition, Hareidim Not Buying Idea of Service in Jewish Army

Avigdor Liberman says he will continue to pursue the drafting of all Israelis at the age of 18, but will uphold the current coalition.

70 days Later – Mofaz, Kadima, Quit Netanyahu’s Government over Haredi Draft

Following the collapse of negotiations over a new conscription law, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz decided to quit Netanyahu's coalition, leaving the premier once again with only 66 MKs. Mofaz told a Kadima faction emergency session: "It is with great sorrow that I say that there is no escape from taking a decision on quitting the government." Mofaz explained: "I went in on a principle, and when that failed, we must quit."

Thousands Protesting Against Draft

Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox adults and young children are protesting against the universal draft in Kikar Shabbat in Jerusalem. The adults have handcuffed all the children...

Eytan Kobre’s Anti-Religious Rant

If the draft is going to be equally applied, religious sensitivities must be guaranteed to all. This means that the infrastructure must be created and enforced so that Charedim will be able to practice Judaism as they best understand it. The bottom line for me is that no Charedi mother should ever be faced by a Chiloni or Religious Zionist mother asking the question, “Why did my son have to die in battle while your son was safe in a Yeshiva?”

Politicians Talk About the Universal Draft

Chief Rabbi Amar and President Peres met today and discussed the draft issue. They concluded that the debate must continue, but without extremism from...

The Draft Controversy In Israel

A comment by Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz the other day set us thinking about an element in the draft debate that could only manifest itself in an Israeli context.

The Chareidi Gush Katif

Legislation is being used to force a situation onto a significantly large minority sector that disagrees with the decision. Will it once again end in disaster for everyone?

Bibi Dissolves Tal Law Committee, Setting Up Potential Government Rift

A government coalition effort to craft a revised version of the Tal Law, whereby a sizeable number of draft eligible haredi yeshiva students would be forced to choose between joining the Israel Defense Forces or partake in Sherut Leumi (alternative national service), could become a political quagmire for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Kadima Party leader Shaul Mofaz is threatening to bolt the unity government over a lack of progress toward finding a solution.

Coalition Crisis Brewing

A coalition crisis has been growing the past few days. The crisis resolves around the now disbanded, Plessner Committee and their recommendations on how...

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