Yated Neeman’s Benny Rabinowitz told Kol Berama Radio on Tuesday morning, 23 Adar II that for the time being, the IDF is not going to operate chareidi induction centers.
At first, the chareidi induction centers were viewed as a positive step, distancing chareidi inductees from the unacceptable realities of a standard IDF facility. The center was going to be staffed exclusively by males and it would operate on a standard acceptable to bnei Torah reporting for induction.
Rabinowitz explained when Gedolei Hador Shlita learned of the reality, that these induction centers were designed to brainwash young talmidim who may be influenced, the rabbonim opposed them. Rabinowitz learned the centers were set up to compel talmidim to spend a day, during which they are compelled to view videos and hear speakers, all trying to persuade them to opt out of receiving a yeshiva deferment and enter a chareidi-tailored unit such as Shachar. Rabinowitz admits the IDF has not given the final word regarding the chareidi induction center program, but for now it is on hold despite the fact that millions of shekels have been invested to date.
Rabinowitz clarified that for now, the position of Gedolei Torah in Bnei Brak remains unchanged, that talmidim are to report to induction centers when they receive a draft notice and fill out basic personal information only. He stresses “the defense minister, the IDF chief of staff and head of personnel are not Yair Lapid, and they are open to seeing the reality”. He explained the three senior officials mentioned have come to realize if the chareidi induction center program operates, then the rabbonim will instruct bnei yeshivos not to report when they receive a draft notice. Rabinowitz believes the IDF prefers to avoid such an announcement from Gedolei Yisrael.
Rabinowitz shared the story of a young Sephardi bochur who was arrested and sent to IDF prison for 20 days. He would not reveal his name or details, explaining his arrest was not publicized and the young man had a horrific experience which he, Rabinowitz, was unwilling to share. He stated the young man was arrested because his neighbor persuaded him to ignore his draft notice. He concluded that ultimately, the young man has been inducted and is now in the IDF.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)