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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘National Service’

No More Lies, Sec. Kerry, There Is No ‘Existential Threat to Israel’

Sunday, January 26th, 2014

Is Secretary of State, John Kerry correct, or incorrect, when exhorting “the demographic time bomb” to scare Israel into a retreat from geography (Judea and Samaria), in order to, supposedly, secure demography?  According to Kerry, “There is an existential threat to Israel…. I am referring to the demographic dynamic that makes it impossible for Israel to preserve its future as a democratic, Jewish state without resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a two-state solution.”

Are Jews doomed to become a minority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and the pre-1967 Israel?

According to the 2013 CIA World Factbook,  Judea and Samaria Arabs  experienced a dramatic decline in fertility rate (the average number of births per woman): from five births in 2000 to 2.91 in 2013.  On the other hand, in 2014, Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics documents a 3.04 Jewish fertility rate and 3.42 when both Jewish spouses are Israeli-born.

“A new Palestinian generation opts for fewer children is the title of an article by Rasha Abou Jalal, a Gaza journalist:  While Islam calls for believers to bear many children and prohibits the use of birth control, new Palestinian generations are defying tradition and leaning toward limiting the number of children they have…. The new generation takes into consideration various economic and cultural factors before deciding to have children.  The idea of limiting childbearing has, therefore, garnered more supporters than before…. The more Palestinians become aware and rational, the less they will procreate, as they pursue a level of education and knowledge that suits them and increases their chances of having a better life….

The Westernization of Muslim demographic trends, from Iran (1.8 births per woman), through Saudi Arabia (2.3), Syria and Egypt (2.9) and North Africa (1.8) has also characterized Muslim women in Judea, Samaria, Gaza and pre-1967 Israel. The unprecedented decline in Muslim fertility has been driven by modernity: accelerated women’s rights, urbanization, education, career mentality and family planning (72% of 15-49 year old married Palestinian women prefer to avoid pregnancy).  Thus, contemporary young Muslim women are reluctant to get married at the age of fifteen and start reproducing at the age of sixteen.  They tend to postpone marriage until after the age of 20 and prefer limited reproduction.

On the other hand, in 2014, the Israeli Jewish fertility rate (three births per woman and trending upwards) is higher than in any Arab country, other than Yemen, Iraq and Jordan.  Jewish demography has been enhanced by a high level of optimism, patriotism, communal responsibility and attachment to roots among religious and secular, hawks and doves, conservative and liberal Israelis, bolstered by economic progress. While the annual number of Arab births – west of the Jordan River – has stabilized since 1995, the annual number of Jewish births has surged from 80,000 in 1995 to about 132,000 in 2013 – a 65% increase!  This dramatic leap occurred despite declining fertility among ultra-orthodox Jews, but due to the substantial rise of secular Jewish fertility.  In 1995 there were 2.3 Jewish births per one Arab birth in Israel; in 2014 – 3.3 births.  In 1995, the number of Jewish births constituted 69% of total Israeli births; in 2014 – 77% and rising.

In 2014, there is a robust 66% Jewish majority in the combined area of Judea, Samaria and pre-1967 Israel – compared with a 9% and 39% in 1900 and 1947 – benefitting from a tailwind of fertility and net-immigration.  This contrasts with declining Arab fertility and annual Arab net-emigration (in 2014, 20,000 from Judea and Samaria).  In 2014, Israel’s Jewish population has reached 6.5 million people, next to 1.7 million Israeli Arabs and 1.7 million Judean and Samarian Arabs – one million less than the number claimed by the Palestinian Authority.  The misrepresentation was conceived in the late 1990s, in response to the arrival of one million Soviet Jews to Israel.  It consists of overseas residents, overseas births, by double-counting Jerusalem Arabs as Israeli Arabs (by Israel) and West Bankers (by the Palestinian Authority), etc..

30% of Religious-Zionist Girls Join IDF, and the IDF Needs More

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Approximately 30% of young women who graduate from Religious-Zionist High Schools go on to join the IDF, according to a report in Makor Rishon. From the remainder, the majority do a year or two of National Service.

Among the general population, 42% of women don’t join the IDF.

For the IDF Manpower Division, 30% of the Religious-Zionist women simply just isn’t enough, and they are looking for ways to significantly increase that number.

The primary fears among Religious-Zionist women is that IDF service is incompatible with a religious life-style, alongside the longstanding stereotype that one of the primary missions of women in the IDF is to make coffee for the officers.

The IDF plans to take steps to make IDF service more attractive to incoming Religious-Zionist girls, including opening new IDF career paths, making sure their religious rights are guaranteed, ensuring prayer times, the option to wear skirts instead of pants, and trying to group Religious-Zionist recruits together, so they’ll feel more comfortable.

In addition, according to the plan, Religious-Zionist girls may be given the option to appear before a special religious committee to change units, and potentially, to even opt out of the army, if they find their current unit, or the IDF as a whole, to disparate and incompatible with their religious lifestyle.

The IDF wants to ensure that there will be Halachic oversight for Religious-Zionist women, and be able to handle any questions or problems that may arise for them.

The IDF is even making a point of letting Religious-Zionist girls know they’d be getting important jobs, and won’t end up making coffee for someone.

In 2011, 1,500 Religious-Zionist young women went to the IDF, in 2012 that number rose to 1,800.

A survey done by “Aluma” of Religious-Zionist women serving in the IDF found that 85% of them felt that the IDF service did not negatively affect their religiosity, and some even found their Judaism strengthened by their IDF service.

The IDF can do that for that you.

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

Photo by: Matan Hakimi /IDF Spokesperson / Flash 90

Knesset Panel Snubs IDF’s Objection to National Service for Chabad

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Chabad emissaries serving overseas will be able to fulfill their military draft obligation the IDF through national service (Sherut Leumi) if the Knesset passes a bill approved Tuesday by a Knesset special committee for the Equal Sharing of the Burden.

Chabad emissaries would share the same status as those who do national service as part of the Magen David Adom medical teams and those who identify victims of disasters

The IDF objected to the proposal, which was passed by the committee in 5-3 vote. Labor, Yesh Atid and Jewish Home Knesset Members voted against it, while committee members of Likud-Beitenu , Tzipi Livni’s NaTnuah party, Shas and United Torah Judaism supported it.

One key member in favor was MK Elazar Stern former head of the IDF Manpower Unit.

Stern said, “The Chabad movement sends 250 to 300 emissaries to all corners of the world at any given moment. There are various components in their activities that strikingly parallel the character of national civilian service. They do important work in Jewish communities around the world and we must recognize them [for it].

“I want the emissaries to know on a daily basis that they are emissaries of the state. One of our greatest accomplishments in doing so would be succeeding in connecting Chabad Hassidim to the country, and showing that the emissaries, whose rebbe called on them not to move to Israel in the past, are emissaries of Israel abroad.”

Settlement Mayor Boycotting IDF Ceremony over Treatment of Women

Friday, February 22nd, 2013

For the third year in a row, the youth of the town of Efrat in Judea and Samaria are at the very top of the IDF annual enlistment statistics, which also show that this town provides the highest share of officers per capita in the country. And so, according to Makor Rishon, this year, as in previous ones, the head of the local municipality Oded Ravivi was invited to participate last Wednesday—along with the rest of the heads of municipalities that are leaders in terms of their military recruits—in the annual ceremony conducted by HR Chief Maj.-General Orna Barbivai.

But, this year, Mayor Ravivi opted not to come to the ceremony: in his view, the current stats are a terrible injustice to young National Religious people who are serving their country.

“The IDF stats only include those who enlisted in the army. In Efrat the girls are also enlisting, but because most of our population is National Religious, most of our girls do National Service.”

Ravivi was enraged, saying, “It’s unacceptable that we’re the leaders in all the most important statistics, yet, in the end, we find ourselves in the 60th percentile because our young women prefer national service over the army. If the IDF does not appreciate our high number of officers and combatants, I prefer to stay away from this get together.”

Young Israelis of both sexes are able to choose, according to the law, between military service and national service—the latter including teaching in needy areas, work in hospitals and in EMT units.

According to the IDF HR enlistment statistics for 2012, 22.2 of Efrat’s recruits go on to make officers, while 80.4 of the town’s men serve as combat soldiers. About a quarter of the local girls also opt for military service, and out of those, 24% continue to officer school.

“We work hard to encourage doing a significant IDF service,” Ravivi told Makor Rishon. “Our youth are raised in an environment that stresses contributing to the nation. We offer pre-enlistment prep programs, so our young people learn how to arrive at those places.”

Haredi Draft Proposal Offers Few Sticks, Many Carrots

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

The Knesset committee tasked with crafting an alternative to the Tal Law for haredi service in Israel is reportedly drafting a proposal which would defer the enlistment of haredi men till age 22, offer financial incentives to yeshivot that have younger enlistment rates, and begin to levy economic sanctions on haredim who don’t enlist by age 23.

The proposal being floated in the Plesner Committee seeks to implement a “carrot and stick” approach to encouraging early recruitment, directed at both yeshivot and individual students: a point system would be established whereby each student that enlists in the IDF between the ages of 18-19 would confer upon his yeshiva 1.5 “points” towards allocation of state funds. The later a student enlists, the lower the points the yeshiva would be granted, declining to .4 points for a student that still has not enlisted by age 22. According to the committee, the benefits of early enlistment are two-fold: yeshivot would receive greater budget allocations than they do today, and it would lower the number of students the yeshivot have to finance at any given time. At age 22, the “carrots” end and the “sticks” begin, most of which would be shouldered by the individual students, and would include sanctions like denial of housing benefits.

The committee would also determine recruitment targets for each year. The draft proposal has carved out a permanent exemption for Torah prodigies, the numbers of which are expected to be far less than those today. Reports have suggested that some 1,500 individuals in each draft class would qualify for the exemption.

According to the plan, haredi men would perform two years of national or military service (in contrast to the three years mandated for male soldiers in the IDF), and the state would offer haredim a variety of recruitment options to choose from, like additional “Nahal Haredi” units and special tracks within the Police force and the Prison Services.

On Tuesday, a report released by the Knesset Research and Information Center found that haredi enlistment would come at a high financial cost, due mainly to the fact that most of the draftees would already be married and many would already have children, requiring commensurate salaries; whereas non-married non-combat soldiers receive salaries of around NIS 350/month, and non-married combat soldiers receive approximately NIS 700/month, married soldiers and soldiers with children are paid at least NIS 5000/month.

Israeli news sources Ynet and Walla quoted officials in the haredi community as saying that imposing military or national service on yeshiva students would “set the streets on fire.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with committee Chair MK Yochanan Plesner (Kadima) on Tuesday and reportedly pressured him to offer a more moderate proposal, one that is palatable to both the coalition and the broader public. He also met Tuesday with MKs Yakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism). He is scheduled to meet with Shas MKs Eli Yishai and Ariel Atias on Wednesday to allay the concerns of the fourth biggest party in his coalition.

Netanyahu is reported to be considering asking the High Court of Justice for an extension on implementing a replacement to the Tal law, which is set to expire on July 31.

Changes to the proposal may still be made in the remaining deliberations this week; the proposal is expected to be submitted to the government early next week.

Yisrael Beiteinu Introduces Bill To Restrict Knesset Membership To IDF Veterans

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Yisrael Beiteinu on Tuesday introduced a bill that would restrict Knesset membership to citizens that have completed IDF or national service.

The proposal was submitted on Tuesday by MK Moshe Matalon, who said that “serving the country is part of the Israeli ethos . . . Knesset members are supposed to be role models.”

If passed, the bill would effectively mean that the Arab and Ultra-Orthodox parties would be dissolved, as neither community serves in the IDF. With Shas and United Torah Judaism serving as influential members of the current governing coalition, it is unlikely the bill will be passed into law.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yisrael-beiteinu-introduces-bill-to-restrict-knesset-membership-to-those-who-have-completed-idf-or-national-service/2012/01/11/

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