Sunday, March 09, 2014

The Haredi Draft Issue has Never Been About the Haredi Draft

ז' לחודש השנים עשר תשע"ד

The Western Wall, Jerusalem, Tisha b'Av 5773
(Photo: Ezra Landau)
I used to think, and maybe I still do to a degree, that the Haredi leadership has never offered much in the way of alternative solutions to the draft issue. For the most part, it has put down Nahal Haredi (Netzah Yisra'el), instead offering constructive criticism or proposals for new IDF, Haredi units. Nor has it proposed that its various communities' young men could serve as tutors in schools, members of Mismar Ezrahi (community policing), and distributors of food to the needy, through Israel' national service program, never even having to leave their own communities.

Jews from various communities, dancing together at the Haredi Prayer Rally
Jerusalem, 30 Adar I 5774/March 9, 2014
(Photo: Screen shot from Kikar HaShabbath)
If the Israeli government did not allow such program, then the image of Haredi communities in the public would only improve. Yet now, when the City of Jerusalem shut down most transportation in and out of the city, and even sections within it, because of the Atzereth Tefillah (prayer rally), the public had only one target at which to point its accusatory finger.

Let’s face it. Even to those of us who strongly believe in the benefits for all of Am Yisra’el, achieved by a segment of us dedicated solely to Torah study, the set of arguments offered by the Haredi leadership as to why most, if not all, of their sons should not have to be drafted pretty much falls flat on its face.

The “why should my son risk his life, and not yours” argument is a compelling one, that is, if the “Haredi Draft” issue was actually about whether or not Haredi men should be drafted along side the young men of other communities in Israel. But, it is not, and it never has been.

Underneath the Torah cosmetics dabbed placed here and there on the IDF by Mamlakhti (undying State loyalist) rabbis, underneath the pragmatic MKs’ decries of fairness is the real target of the Haredi objections to being drafted into the IDF, the powers that be who are hell-bent on destroying everything in within the State even remote related to a Torah way of life, in favor of Hellenist democracy. However, in Israel it has been manifested as a deMOCKracy.

Do you really believe that the powers that be, and their loyal followers, want their sons to be exposed to Jews laying tefillin, keeping Shabbath, praying three times a day, blessing before and after meals, and to peers their age able to answer their long unanswered questions about these and other Torah observances?

I am certain that they do not.

Recently, Yesh Atid Party leader and Finance Minister Ya’ir Lapid showed that he “got smart,” so to speak, by deciding that Haredim will not be enlisted all at once, but only a little at a time. In this way, the indoctrination process will have a chance of going much smoother, than if they were taken all at once. Yes, that is exactly what it is, an indoctrination into state-loyalist society. Loyalty to The Almighty and His Torah over the State is too threatening to the powers that be, to say the least.
Beyond popular belief, loyalty to The Almighty and loyalty to the State of Israel are not one and the same. Perhaps on 5 Iyyar 5708/May 15, 1948 they were intertwined, but no longer.

When MKs and citizens from across the spectrum talk about fairness, they are not wrong. However, they are discouraged, dis-informed, and disallowed to see below the surface of what is or is not fair.
This is not about fighting against the draft; it is about fighting against the anti-Torah powers that be, who have been using the draft issue as a tool to divide and conquer,…and thus maintain a more effective control over the populace.

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