Netanyahu: We’ll Double Number Of Charedim In IDF


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The following is a Ynet article:

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has adopted Israel Defense Forces Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi’s stand and will aim to double the number of haredim serving in the army within five years.

Netanyahu’s office said Friday afternoon that the prime minister would ask the government to vote on a plan to advance military and civilian service in the ultra-Orthodox sector as early as Sunday.

The decision was made Friday morning at the end of a meeting between Netanyahu, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz and Major-General Avi Zamir, head of the IDF Personnel Directorate. According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, Netanyahu decided to adopts the recommendations the army chief submitted to him during their meeting Wednesday.

The statement added that the decision would make it possible to double the number of recruits from the haredi sector in the next five years. The PM’s Office expects the number of recruits in 2015 to total 4,800 – 2,400 in the army and 2,400 in national service. According to the plan, the IDF will also have additional combat systems take in haredi soldiers.

In order to meet the goal, the government will allot NIS 130 million ($37 million) a year for new and unique recruitment systems for the haredi sector, as well as NIS 70 million ($20 million) a year for developing new systems in the civilian service.

A haredi man without children will be allowed to join regular civilian service as an alternative for military service from the age of 26.

The PM’s Office, the Finance Ministry, the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry, the Defense Ministry and the Science Ministry will come up with a plan to help haredim serving in the army and in civilian service integrate into the labor market upon the completion of their military service.

The prime minister noted that this was an important decision which would increase the enlistment of young haredi men to the army and national service, encourage them to integrate into the labor market and help divide the burden among the Israeli society.

(Source: Ynet)


  1. What do people think of having the gedolim get together, discuss main issues of having yeshiva guys in army (i.e. tznius and halachic problems) and then meet with IDF officials and see if they can make an agreement/compromise and then send bulk of charedim to army except those actually studying for rabbanus…?

  2. If this plan works out, then this will be the begining of a major change in the parnossa of the Jews of Israel who will be able to seek employment and open buissness with ease.

  3. Has anyone noticed the sense of panic in all this effort to bring Hareidim into the Army? It is as if a weak can not go by without some effort being made to bring Hareidi youth into the the system. Considering the pathetic state of the Chiloni youth and the smoldering anger within the youth of the National Religious camp, it seems that in desperation they are going after the Hareidi youth. Even after all these years, they still do not have anyone else to trust with the keys to the medicine cabinet.

    Aryeh Zelasko
    Beit Shemesh

  4. Making the army into one in which Hareidim will want to serve will alienate the hilonim. Even something so easy as making halachos of yichud and negiah mandatory on all military personnel while on active duty will cause an outrage among the seculars. Conscripting people who don’t want to serve will seriously undermine the army.

    The current status quo provides for a cohesive military, since the “I’m too busy learning” is a politically more tolerable excuse than “you are a bunch of lewd apikoresim” which really underlies most hareidi opposition to military service.

  5. akuperma, the current status quo may provide for a cohesive Israeli military, but it doesn’t provide for a cohesive Israeli society. There is anger, misunderstanding, and no shortage of sinas chinam between Israeli Chareidim and their Dati and Chiloni brothers.

    Creating an IDF that those at all levels of yiddishkeit can serve in is a neccesary step towards bringing Jews together. “I’m too busy learning” is not politically tolerable to most Israelis, and it becomes increasingly less tolerable as the Chareidi population grows.

    I disagree with you that yichud and negiah must be mandatory for all IDF personel for Chareidi men to be able to serve, although Chareidi (and Dati Leumi) observance of these halachos must be respected. If I can work in a company where Jewish employees don’t respect these mitzvot, Chareidim can save Jewish lives in a military where not everyone is observant.