In a damaging report, some 18 months after it was learned the IDF was releasing incorrect figures pertaining to the enlistment of religious girls, it is now reported the IDF lied regarding enlistment numbers in the chareidi population, doubling or even tripling the numbers towards protecting the bleak non-compliance with induction goals for the Chareidi population.
Veteran KAN Kol Yisrael military correspondent Carmella Menashe reported on Wednesday morning that for years, the IDF provided fake numbers to increase the number of chareidim enlisting by “hundreds of percent”. Menashe insists that military officials lied to government officials, including the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, the IDF Chief of Staff and Defense Minister regarding chareidi enlistment numbers.
For example, in 2017, it was reported that there were 3,070 chareidim who enlisted when in fact, the number was 1,300. The remainder were soldiers who do not entirely meet the criteria to be classified as “chareidi” and some were not even religious.
According to reports, between 2013-2018, there was pressure placed on the IDF regarding chareidi enlistment numbers. The head of the chareidi unit in the IDF, a major, released fake numbers. In 2011, there were 600 chareidim who enlisted but the IDF reported the number to be 1,200.
In 2018, the Chareidi Administration was formed in the IDF, headed by Lt.-Colonel Telem Chazon, who was the deputy commander of the Paratroops Brigade. He began by conducting a real count towards determining just how many chareidim enlisted, and he learned the true number was 1,650; but the number reported was 3,070 to adapt to the 2017 report.
Meanwhile, Senior military officials involved in recruiting members of the Chareidi community denied Wednesday that data was falsified in order to appear that quotas were being met.
The officers said that the apparent discrepancies were down to a change in which recruits were defined as Chareidim.
Therefore, they said, less men defined as Chareidim were drafted in 2018 than in previous years and a decision was made to now view data from previous years as inflated.
According to the report, the IDF’s Chareidi recruitment division was said to have essentially “forged” numbers by counting the religious (who are not Chareidim), and sometimes even secular, recruits in order to meet the needed criteria.
In response to Menashe’s report, the IDF Spokesman’s Office states, “Of late, the IDF has learned of an error in counting chareidi enlistment in recent years. When the mistake became known, lessons were learned regarding the counting criteria and the strict adherence to the body counting the chareidi soldiers within the IDF. It should be noted that the data for the 2018 recruitment year (ending in June 2019) has not yet been compiled.
Blue and White MK Yair Lapid, who has long complained about the lack of Chareidi military enlistment, calls it “grave and troubling” and says the matter needs to be clarified “immediately”.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)