The liberal Israeli political party Kadima has left Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition over a bill that gives ultra-Orthodox men a blanket military deferment. Amir Mizroch writes:
The Likud wanted to draft the haredi men at 26 years of age, Kadima wanted 23. Never mind that the average Israeli wanted the age at which haredi boys are drafted into the army or national service to be 18, when everyone’s sons and brothers go in. The politicians were busy with their own calculations of power and survival, not universal equality and social justice. It was all a ruse: at 21 a haredi man is married already with a child. At 23 he has two children. At 26 he already has up to 4 children. There’s not much the IDF can do with a 26 year old haredi father-of-four. He’ll be more of a burden to the army, and his family, at that stage of his life. This whole debate was not about the haredi draft, it was about political calculations ahead of the next elections. Why can’t haredi boys go serve at 18, and then, when they reach 21, go work during the day and study at night? They can. Of course they can.