According to officials in ZAKA and Hatzolah, the new bill being pushed along in the Knesset Health & Welfare Committee by MK (National Union) Prof. Aryeh Eldad may prevent many chareidim from continuing as volunteers in the above-mentioned organizations or in Magen David Adom.
The bill already passed its preliminary reading and the committee was preparing it for its first Knesset reading. The bill defines the criteria for becoming a “chovesh” (medic – Israeli equivalent of an EMT) or a paramedic, citing the applicant must meet the following criteria;
*A citizen or resident of Israel;
*Has completed 12 years of education;
*Has basic knowledge of Hebrew and English.
ZAKA head Yehuda Meshi-Zahav attended the committee session along with Hatzolah director Ze’ev Kashash, both invited due to the obvious relevance of the new bill to their organizations.
Some of the obvious problems may include those who did not attend state public schools, but were educated in the Talmud Torah system and do not have a diploma attesting to 12 years of education. They also questioned what becomes of volunteers who speak Hebrew and Yiddish, and do not know English.
It was decided that a subcommittee comprised of four members of Knesset would address all the objections and deal with them.
The two organizations, ZAKA and Hatzolah have hired attorney Dror Shussheim to represent them and the interests of the chareidi medics and paramedics.
(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)