The Tel Aviv metropolitan area and Jerusalem have extremely low rates of army enlistment, Ynet reported today.
Modi'in-Maccabim-Re'ut was first on the list while Tel Aviv was 52nd and Jerusalem 62nd. Many of Jerusalem’s residents are haredim, which largely accounts for its low ranking.
Coming in dead last were Modi'in Illit, Beitar Illit and Bnei Brak, all of which are haredi cities.
Tel Aviv’s low ranking is due in large part to the refusal of secular youths to enlist in the IDF. Many don’t want to serve in the West Bank or protect the settlements. Others object to serving when haredim are allowed to dodge the draft. And still others would refuse to serve in any case.
According to the IDF, by 2020, 60% of all Israeli citizens (including haredim and Arabs who are exempt) over the age of 18 will not be enlist in the IDF, and out of those who are legally obligated to enlist (i.e., not haredim and Arabs), only 64.1% will do so.
The IDF praised the few but increasing number of haredim who do serve in the Army, noting that in 2011 1,200 haredi men enlisted in the National Service program (Sherut Leumi – which is not army service), 450 haredim enlisted in the special haredi infantry regiment Nahal Haredi, and 650 haredim enlisted in various other service programs.
Not surprisingly, the district with the highest percentage of combat soldiers (i.e., soldiers who spent the majority of their military service in an actual combat unit) be they Zionist Orthodox, secular or haredi is the Judea and Samaria District – the home of the West Bank settlements and a large population of army age men who have experienced Palestinian violence first hand.