While the Shaked Committee continues discussing a new draft law and what sanctions to level against chareidim, the 97th Battalion of Nachal Chareidi was awarded the prestigious Chief of Staff Citation for outstanding service. This is a first for Nachal Chareidi since it was founded.
After inspections and being monitored, officers decided the battalion’s professional performance is exemplary and deserving of the citation. In recent weeks the battalion received other citations, one from the Logistics Branch and the second from the Ground Forces Commander.
This year the battalion recorded a significant increase in the number of new inductees. In the November 2013 induction there were 286 new recruits, representing a 70% increase from the previous November.
In the last three inductions into Nachal Chareidi, 754 new recruits joined the 97th Battalion, representing a 50% increase from the same time period a year earlier.
Rabbonim, askanim and even some lawmakers warn that the hard-handed policies of the current administration will boomerang and instead of inducting the bnei yeshivos as they hope to do, those who planned to serve will adhere to the instructions of gedolei hador shlita and refrain from serving.
Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is among the more vocal opponents of harsh sanctions against bnei yeshivos who do not comply with the draft. He explains that from his years of experience he realizes that if the chareidi tzibur is boxed into a corner, as is the case, the plan will backfire and no one will serve.
Ya’alon is among those warning that all that has been accomplished since the establishment of Nachal Chareidi and the IAF’s Shachar program may be lost as a result of the new draft law.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)