Because of the declining birth and immigration rates and the rise in exemptions from military service, the IDF – which in 2013 will enlist the lowest number of new draftees in 20 years – is facing a manpower shortage. Most of that shortage is hared-induced.
IDF Facing Manpower Shortage
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Because of the declining birth and immigration rates and the rise in exemptions from military service, the IDF – which in 2013 will enlist the lowest number of new draftees in 20 years – is facing a manpower shortage, Ynet reports.
Approximately 26% of Israelis eligible for military service this year will not be drafted, according to a new report released by the IDF’s Manpower Directorate.
Just over half of those exempted – almost all of them haredim – will be exempted for religious reasons.
The remaining exemptions are almost equally divided among those exempted for mental health reasons, for health reasons, due to having criminal records, and those exempted because because they moved away from Israel and now live in another country.
The number of exemptions will continue to rise unless the Knesset passes laws to deal with the issue – primarily a law that finally mandates drafting haredim, who have en masse evaded military service for decades, and whose leaders continue to fight against military service on the grounds that their Torah study is more important than military service.
In 2012, approximately 1400 haredim did enlist in the IDF, but they did so only for voluntary non-committal service, which does little to combat the manpower shortage.
Additionally, haredi demands for completely gender-segregated units, battalions and bases, their demand for hours out of every workday to be set aside for prayer and Torah study, their appalling low educational levels, and their demand for glatt kosher mehadrin food makes haredi draftees much more expensive and cumbersome for the IDF to deal with than others.
Because many haredi mens yeshivas do not teach math or science, let alone computer science, English language, Modern Hebrew, and civics, haredi draftees need extensive remedial education before they can be trained for many of the technical jobs the army needs filled – so much remedial education that, for the most part, haredim could never be used to fill them.
The IDF hopes to increase the number of secular female draftees and use many of them to fill technological roles.
However, fewer women than men take physics, computer science or technology courses in high school. So the IDF is starting to encourage high school girls to take those course so they can better serve their country when drafted.
Haredi women never serve in the IDF.