"This coming August will see 30,000 haredim receive exemption from military service. This will be a national test. If we fail to integrate them into the workforce the government's entire burden equality scheme is doomed."
Israel HaYom reports:
Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett [from the Zionist Orthodox HaBayit HaYehudi party] warned Sunday that unless the government is able to create jobs for the tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox men who will be exempted from military service this summer, its efforts to integrate them into the workforce will have failed.
Bennett…was referring to the coalition's plan to grant all yeshiva students, age 22 and over, full exemption from mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces. As a result, some 30,000 yeshiva students would be excused from military service right away, and an additional 20,000 haredim would be granted exemption from service over the next four years [until 2017 when all but 1,800 haredim reaching draft age will have to do mandatory military or national civil service].
"This coming August will see 30,000 haredim receive exemption from military service. This will be a national test. If we fail to integrate them into the workforce the government's entire burden equality scheme is doomed," Bennett said.…
Rabbi attorney Uri Regev, head of the Hiddush group, which advocates freedom of religion for Israel, said that Bennett's remarks "Illustrate just how problematic and adventurous the coalition's burden-equality outline is. It's immoral, unjust and unfair to exempt 30,000 yeshiva students from military service and literally throw them into the workforce."
Regev urged the Peri committee, which has been tasked by the government to devise legislation that will promote the integration of the ultra-Orthodox and other minority groups into military and national service, to reduce the scope of what it called the "mass haredi exemption" and impose mandatory service for the haredi community immediately, instead of by the target date in 2017, as the coalition plans to do.