How Serious Is Israel's Right Wing Government About Drafting Haredim? Not Very, It Seems
Despite a February High Court of Justice ruling that struck down the near-blanket draft exemptions given to haredi yeshiva students, the government has not consulted any experts who could help it draft haredim.
Merav Michaeli writes in Ha'aretz:
…At the end of 2011 the military sociology section of the Israeli Sociology Society, together with the Open University, conducted a simulation in which I had the privilege of participating. It presented a model for a different type of military draft. Thus, even before the Tal Law was declared unconstitutional in February of this year, different draft models and their ramifications were being debated.
Participants in the simulation included sociologists whose entire careers had been devoted to studying the structure, context, and social significance of the military: Prof. Yagil Levy, Prof. Stuart Cohen, Dr. Orna Sasson-Levy, Dr. Zev Lehrer − as well as experts on Haredi and Arab societies. But not a single decision maker or policymaker was present; neither the IDF Personnel Directorate nor the Defense Ministry director general’s office responded to the invitations they’d been sent.
Last week, the same forum conducted a seminar that examined alternatives for drafting Haredim, following the cancellation of the Tal Law on August 1. Once again, not one official from either the government or the IDF was present. Even if we were to argue that these officials have no time for conferences, it’s still inconceivable that not one of all the above-mentioned experts has ever been invited by a government or security official to contribute his or her knowledge, or to offer an opinion on the issue of IDF conscription. Not before the Tal Law was struck down and not after.
…[A]t the beginning of August, Defense Minister Ehud Barak…appointed a team to draw up alternatives to the Tal Law. A parallel team was set up in the IDF Personnel Directorate, according to the report. Neither team includes any experts from academia as members.…