The Peri Committee convened today to vote on the different articles of the proposed outline for chareidi enlistment, deadlocked over a disagreement between committee chairman, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, regarding the protocol for granting exemption from IDF service.
Deliberations are expected to continue Monday.
Disagreements among committee members surfaced at the beginning of the committee’s deliberation. Ministers Limor Livnat (Likud), Amir Peretz (Hatnua) and Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) announced that they opposed one of the proposed legislation’s central articles. The section that they opposed ruled that heads of yeshivot can face criminal charges if their students dodge the draft.
Nonetheless, as was expected, the committee unanimously authorized one of the law’s articles which stipulated that for each year, 1,800 exemptions from IDF service will be given to yeshiva students diligent and persistent in their Torah studies. The group was dubbed by the committee as “Torah prodigies.”
The committee’s outline, revealed last week by Ynet, requires the establishment of an enforcement and supervision mechanism in order to reach the high enlistment quotas stipulated by the committee.
For locating yeshiva dodgers, the IDF will be assisted by yeshiva heads who will be asked to transfer a financial guarantee in order to prevent false affidavits regarding the number of students actually studying.
The bill thus bears personal liability on the yeshiva heads. Service deferment will be subject to yeshiva students and heads filing statements that the student is in fact studying, and committing to reporting any condition changes during that period of time. Filing a false affidavit would be considered a criminal offense. However, draft dodgers will be shielded from economic sanctions that their yeshiva heads might face if caught lying.
During the committee’s deliberation, Deputy Education Minister Avi Weitzman, who is not a committee member, entered the discussion and slammed the committee’s chairman Yaakov Peri.
According to Reshtik, the union sees the Peri Committee outline as a “historic opportunity to create uniformity in Israeli society.” He further added that the union believed that achieving an “equal share of burden” is a “national mission in which the (union) wishes to take part.” He called on committee members to vote for the legislation.
Read more at Ynet News.