As the Plesner Committee continues efforts to formulate the nations new draft law, there are many opinions and the jury is still out as what the bill that is voted on in Knesset will actually contain.
Newspapers are reporting that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is fighting to eliminate any personal monetary sanctions against avreichim. Mr. Netanyahu has been pushing a moderate line the entire time as he wishes to appease everyone, a noble yet likely and unattainable goal since the sides remain sharply divided as to the character of the new law.
Committee Chair MK (Kadima) Plesner is adamantly opposed to the prime minister’s position, demanding personal responsibility and levying monetary fines against individuals as well as mosdos.
The IDF appears unwilling to accept monetary sanctions alone. The military’s representative to the committee, Brigadier-General Gadi Agmon wants to see criminal charges brought against draft dodgers along with a monetary fine. The IDF feels the issue of serving must be added to the penal law, not just simply levying a fine.
At present the committee has decided that anyone lying about being in a beis medrash will face criminal charges similar to females who declare they cannot serve in the IDF due to religious reasons when she is really not shomer shabbos. Any false declarations will be a criminal offense under the new law.
Following is a breakdown of where the committee stands at present.
On the matter of monetary sanctions: 1. PM opposes personal fines and is willing to weigh fines against mosdos. 2. Plesner is a strong advocate for fines against individuals and mosdos 3. Yahadut HaTorah opposes sanctions – Shas willing to consider such a measure
Induction Age- The committee is weighing the possibility of permitting inductee to delay induction to age 22 or 23 to permit time to learn for a few years ahead of military service.
1. PM favors the optional later induction.
2. Plesner in favor as well.
3. Chareidi parties support it as well,
4. FM Lieberman opposes any delay, demanding all chareidim enter the IDF at age 18.
Defining Exemptions from Military/National Service
1. PM objects to deferment ceilings and supports the positions of chareidim.
2. Plesner supports setting ceilings of maximum number of deferments.
3. Chareidim object to any ceilings defining how many avreichim may learn and how many must be inducted.
MK Dudu Rotem told Israel Radio on Thursday morning that he feels if one does not serve, one is not entitled to the benefits and as such, those wishing to avoid IDF or approved national service may opt out, but in turn, they cannot expect government subsidized mortgages, supplementary income or any other assistance enjoyed by citizens who serve.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)