Shas is tired of being on the defensive and the party’s affiliated newspaper lashed out against the so-called ‘share the burden’ activists in Knesset who are maintaining a high media profile in their battle to draft avreichim into the IDF. According to journalist Avi Rosen, four of fifteen Yisrael Beitenu MKs have not served in the IDF.
Shas has done some homework and ministers have learned that some of the most vocal advocates of drafting chareidim have not served in the IDF or have served in non-combatant positions.
In the party-affiliated Yom L’Yom newspaper Shas points to Yisrael Beitenu leader Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman as a shining example, completing his army service at the rank of corporal after serving as a “jobnik”, a non-combatant. Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov was discharged at the rank of private, signaling insignificant or curtailed service. YWN-ISRAEL points out that Minister of Public Security Yitzchak Aharonovich of Yisrael Beitenu left the IDF at the rank of lt.-colonel, rising to the rank equivalent to major-general in Israel Police. Danny Ayalon, from the same party, who serves as deputy foreign minister, left the IDF at the rank of major.
Nitzan Horowitz of Meretz is referred to as a “Galei Tzahal combatant”, citing how he sacrificed by signing for an additional year, serving in the radio station of course.
On the other hand, the article states that Shas’ Ariel Atias, who serves as housing minister did not serve for reasons that are not given and MK Nissim Ze’ev did not serve as he was involved in kehila work abroad.
Other party members did serve in the IDF, in combat positions, telling Yisrael Beitenu and others to look in the mirror before judging chareidim and to take an example from Shas faction members. MKs (Shas) David Azoulay was a combat medic, Amnon Cohen a paratrooper, Yitzchak Cohen a combat soldier, Yitzchak Vaknin a combat soldier, Avraham Michaeli was discharged at the rank of major, and party leader Eli Yishai served a full three years as well.
Rosen’s point is that not all chareidim don’t serve and not all those who serve make a significant contribution while some who prefer to lead the battle against chareidim have not served at all.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)