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April 29, 2012

Haredi Cabinet Minister Says PM’s Call For Haredim To Be Drafted Is “Cheap Populism”

Rabbi Yaakov Litzman 3Rabbi Yakov Litzman, a Gerrer hasid who serves as Israel’s proxy health minister, dismissed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent call for a universal military draft that would mandate that haredi yeshiva students serve in Israel’s defense forces as “cheap populism.”

Rabbi Yaakov Litzman 3
Rabbi Yakov Litzman

Haredi Cabinet Minister Says PM’s Call For Haredim To Be Drafted Is “Cheap Populism”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Rabbi Yakov Litzman, a Gerrer hasid who serves as Israel’s proxy health minister, dismissed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent call for a universal military draft that would mandate that haredi yeshiva students serve in Israel’s defense forces as “cheap populism,” Ynet reported today.

Netanyahu's call for a universal draft was made in response to secular protesters upset because they have to fill the gaps created by the universal haredi exemption from military service, and carry a disproportionate amount of the risks and burdens of defending Israel as a result.

Litzman noted that the pledge to continue the exemption of haredi yeshiva students from military service is written into the binding coalition agreement between the haredi United Torah Judaism political party Litzman is a member of and and Netanyahu’s Likud. According to Ynet, Litzman stressed that haredi lawmakers would "not give up on yeshiva students' legal status, the principle being that anyone desiring to study Torah should be allowed to."

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Yeah, expecting them to contribute more than fertilizer to the society to which they belong is "cheap populism".

There is nothing "cheap" about placing guns in the hands of young people and placing them in the line of fire. Dangerous populism, maybe; but not cheap.

the Haredim have been treated with kids gloves for so long, when they are ask to contribute to society they go into shock and say stupid things like this guy

he seems offended that people are asking the Haredim to give and not only take

It sounds like the modern republic of Israel is going to go the way of the ancient kingdom. When the secular Jews have left the country, maybe the Haredi will change their tune.

What is quite beyond me is giving a hack like Litzman any political power whatsoever. I have a simple formula that works for Israel:

You don't work
You don't pay tax
You don't serve in the military
You take public welfare
Therefore:
You have no vote
You cannot hold public office
You cannot run for public office

This formula would ensure that the Haredim were stripped of their power. The coalition would not need their votes as they would have none until the majority of them got off their collective behinds and either served in the military and/or got off the dole.

One more thing; Studying torah 8 hours a day does not qualify you for citizenship, let alone welfare. Israel cannot and should not accept the specious arguement that these people in devoting their lives to studying the minutiae of religious texts in some spiritual way protect the country. Israel is not a theocracy (last time I looked) and the REAL world calls for productivity.

Better cheap populism than failed mysticism.

Right on, Yochanan.
I think the problem is that "Bibi" and others will keep on trading any support for a functioning Israel in exchange for political support of the haredi parties. I think "Bibi" is absolutely impossibly gutless- a real weasel. However, sadly I don't think much of the other Israeli politicians are any better. This "party list" system in Israel will lead it on to destruction, unless something changes.

You guys aren't getting it. His point is that the army doesn't want or have money for the Haredim, only 1/3 of the country does full military service and only 4% do reserve duty, and Netanyahu doesn't care nor does he have any ambition to change that. He's talking about the issue because he can't pass the upcoming budget and it's best for him to control when the government dissolves to hold new elections (it looks like he's shooting for August, but the main thing is that he controls his readiness and other politicians' non-readiness by controling when early elections are held). This year over 100 haredim who showed up to report for military duty were sent back to yeshiva because they exceeded the annual budget for drafting haredim, with an estimated cost of 5,400 shekels a month (due strongly to services for soldiers lacking family support and programs for soldiers that have not graduated high school, among other costs).

Again, Litzman has a point about Netanyahu and you're all missing it.

No I do not think anyone wants hardim in the army. There is no reason they shouldnt perform some type of national service and then join the workforce.
According to the most recent Bank of Israel numbers only 53 or so percent of those who can work do. as compared to about 73% as the OECD average. so fully 20% of those who can work read contribute dont. Haredim and arabs together enjoy the blanket of services that I and others provide for them and give nothing at all in return.

last week fm reported that it was too costly to draft charedim, now this...

Litzman is a deputy Minister and not a member of the cabinet.

check out yudels blog they are trying to get the moetzes involved to shut down his blog because he is suing bmg

A Haredi minister said this... no wonder.

Alter Kocker: Now it seems the Haredi don't like the internet either. Read here:

http://www.thejewishweek.com/news/breaking_news/haredi_leaders_plan_rally_citi_field_highlight_internets_dangers

Who let the Luddites in?

Litzman means to say Bibi is not serious, just bluffing to score points with his electorate , but will not actually do anything as he is bound by the coalition agreement.

***Populism can be defined as an ideology,[1][2][3][4] political philosophy,[5][6][7] or type of discourse.[3][6] Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social movements (a form of mobilization that is essentially devoid of theory).[8] It is defined by the Cambridge dictionary as "political ideas and activities that are intended to represent ordinary people's needs and wishes".[9] It can be understood as any political discourse that appeals to the general mass of the population, to the "people" as such, regardless of class distinctions and political partisanship: "a folksy appeal to the 'average guy' or some allegedly general will."[10]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism***

Maskil:
That's correct, money is 'lacking' for additional Haredim joining the military only b/c the Haredim insist on special treatment not afforded to other troops.

So the PM makes an attempt to manipulate public opinion, welcome to political reality. Does the pandering nature of Netanyahu's remarks change the fact that the Haredim are an unproductive drain on the public purse, one which fails to contribute to national defense while simultaneously viewing all other segments of society with contempt?

Relationships w/in the Gur community itself are bizarre, to say the least. No wonder they can't get along with other groups.

Regarding the army "not" having money. I know personally of two friends who wanted to be drafted to the army, were drafted and sent home for about a year because the army had enough people. They also got paid a nice salary since they were "soldiers". I have heard many other cases of wasted money like this, and they continue complaining that they don't have enough manpower. I have heard personally from friends how to be in actual combat in the army you have to be really good and it's not so easy to get in. The complainers are just using it against the charedim, that they have to give up their lives for them.

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