"Why would the Rabbis do such a thing?" - ODP According to law, everybody has to serve in the IDF, except those exempted for health or other good reasons. Those who don't want to serve go to jail, in the ususal way as in every country. The present system produced a multitude of fellows who don't serve. You might say: How can we put them all in jail? No need. There are other penalties. The Yeshivas are supported by the government. This can be stopped. People who did not serve in the IDF get subsidies from the government. This can be stopped. Once there is the political will, one talks with the Rabbis and arrange for some reasonable system. Let them agree on a reasonable quota, and do the selection themselves. This should keep them happy enough. They may also worry that those drafted will change their lifestyle (secularize or so). Get special units (Hesder-like) where they will be among their own, or national service such as hospital care givers where they live at home.
Syrian rebels call for regional alliance against Russia and Iran (Reuters)
from the article: Draft deferrals for yeshiva students surpass 50,000 mark in 2006