rights & responsibilities - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • re Israel
    • 24.07.13 | 00:10 (IDT)

    Not subscribed so I haven't been able to read the article, however, even though seculars and other non-Haredim might consider it unfair if Haredim are exempt from serving in the IDF, there should probably be consideration of Haredi status as “conscientious objectors”. If they form a major part of Israel’s population, that poses a particular problem which probably does not exist in any other nation. For example, there are reportedly millions of Amish people in the US who are pacifists, yet even though they are many, they are nevertheless a very small proportion of the US population as a whole. So what needs to be understood is whether or not it is vital for Israel’s defence to enlist Haredim. If the IDF has managed without them up to this point, are Haredim really needed in the IDF or is it seen as more of a question of fairness? Doubtless Haredim would be willing to take on civilian roles in community service instead of in the forces, and if the issue boils down to a matter of equality of citizenship rights and responsibilities, that would not be sufficient to override Haredi rights to conscientious objection to military service. This is both a military and ethical issue which needs to be carefully considered and not excluding the context that Haredim are happy to be under Israel’s protection.

    from the article: As Knesset advances IDF draft bill, Haredi MKs tear clothes in mourning
    First published 13:10 23.07.13 | Last updated 12:05 23.07.13
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