Sunday, August 11, 2013

Israel aims to demand military conscription from ultra-Orthodox Haredim; recall controversy over US draft deferments in 1960's?

In a measure that recalls the moral controversy over student deferments from the military draft in the U.S. during the Vietnam war, Israel’s parliament seriously considers a plan, promised by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to require ultra-Orthodox Haredim (or “Haredi” Jews) to become subject to the country’s military draft.  The front page story in the Washington Post by William Booth and Ruth Eglash appeared Saturday, August 10, link here
   
The Orthodox are dedicated scholars of the Talmud and Talmud (at a “yeshiva”), but are seen by regular Israeli citizens as “parasites” because their large about of subsidized unemployment as well as evasion of the risks of military service.

The proposal would take about four years to implement. 

The Haredim have high birth rates, adding possibly to debates on population demographics, too.
    
The article mentions the idea of “social contract” as a moral imperative, in a context somewhat forgotten in the U.S.
  
There is a similar story in the Jerusalem Post by Jeremy Sharon here
   

Some Haredi do enlist voluntarily now. 

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