One might say Bayit Yehudi’s tenacious efforts to compel chareidim to serve in the IDF, aligning with Yesh Atid, have backfired. The anti-hesder sentiment is spreading throughout Israel as MK Elazar Stern and others express their disapproval of hesder and the fact that these soldiers only serve 16 months in the IDF. Stern told the Shaked Committee that after the new chareidi draft law is in place; chareidim will have a longer military service than hesder talmidim.
As part of the growing anti-hesder sentiment, Channel 10 News filed a report painting an unfavorable picture of header yeshivos.
Channel 10 reported that for one thing, it took a long time and much probing to obtain the information requested to complete the report, “as if someone protects them”, but they did eventually receive the sought after information. According to the Defense Ministry, there are currently 18 recognized hesder yeshivos nationwide. Of that number, 25% failed the ministry attendance check in 2013. Of the 2,950 registered hesder talmidim, 534 were not present. One example given was the Orot Aviv Hesder Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, where 11 of the 17 registered talmidim were absent on inspection day.
Channel 10 adds that of the 534 missing talmidim, only 7 were ousted from hesder, detailing that there are no apparent consequences against talmidim who do not comply with the terms of their program.
The report showed how once talmidim are alerted to an inspection they begin notifying others in difficult yeshivos via SMS text messaging and WhatsApp.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)