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May 18, 2012     Heritage Florida Jewish News
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PAGE 16A L hJJ  j._l. J [ j .... HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, MAY 18, 2012 Haredi From page 1A go in taking advantage of a historic opportunity to end the special treatment for haredi Israelis? The question is likely to hinge on political consid- erations. Already there is move- ment on finding an al- ternative to the Tal Law, vhich granted military exemptions to haredi Is- raeli men but was struck down several months ago by Israel&apos;s Supreme Court. The court ordered that an alternative to the law be put into place by Aug. 1. Crafting an alternative to the Tal Law is one of I Caring for you in your home or facility part-time or 24 hours 7 days a week. We always provide a C.N.A. ...... : .... .:: ' : Laundry , ::: ........... :,::,::; ,. Range of Motion ...... Exercnses' ii  .... !::!;i ::i; ijii:, ;! .,. !. Walking Assistarme, i!::::i Comnion Services Ligh- housekeeping : " i Meal prep and clean-up Medication Reminders   .i Carl us Y for details... ,Star8 c,f FL AHCA License # NR 302t I467 Sate o FkANCA kicegse # 231012 Insured. and Uonde."J .HE iTAGE JEWISH NEWS I Health & Fitness Issue F An Annual Issue Published By HERITAGE Florida Jewish News and Featuring a Variety of Thought,Provoking Articles on Health and Fitness Related Subjects Publication Date: June 15, 2012 Reachin00 a Responsive, Health-Conscious Market Deadline for this Important Issue is Wednesday, June 6, 2012 CALL TODAY TO RESERVE YOUR SPACE 407-834-8787 Kobi Gideon / Flash90/JTA Young Israelis demonstrating outside the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem against the Tal Law, which exempts yeshiva students from army service but was deemed illegal by Israel's Supreme Court, Jan. 29, 2012. the top four priorities set forth by the new gov- ernment coalition. The other three are passing a comprehensive budget, reforming the structure of government and making progress toward peace. The budget issue is expected to be resolved one way or the other, as budgets generally are, but there is something pie in the sky about the other two priorities. That leaves the Tal Law alternative as the potential historical legacy of this 18-month alliance between Netanyahu and Mofaz. On Tuesday, that alterna- tive began totake shape. The Jerusalem Post re- ported that under the Mofaz-Netanyahu deal, haredi exemptions from the army would be re- placed by a Basic Law -- the Israeli equivalent to a constitutional amendment -- requiring all citizens to perform military or civil- ian service. Last month, Kadima proposed instituting a universal military draft within five years. Under the Kadima plan, all Israelis either would serve in the military or do national service in a variety of fields, among them education, health and domestic se- curity. Those who fail to comply would be barred from receiving any state funding. The question is whether such a plan, which would radically alter the relation- ship between the state and its rapidly growing haredi Orthodox popula- tion, could survive oppo- sition from Israel's haredi Orthodox parties. Netanyahu doesn't need them to survive in office until the next elections. Indeed, if he were to push through such legislation, it could earn his Likud party "much broader support, including from secular and more centrist voters, the next time Israel goes to the polls. But it could cost Ne- tanyahu in October 2013 if Likud wins the elec- tion, Kadima fares poorly and Netanyahu needs the haredi parties to form a coalition. Those considerations. political analysts say, will mitigate whatever changes are made to haredi exemp- tions. Some other factors are at. play, too. For one thing, while in principle most Israelis would like haredim to be subject to the same requirements of service demanded of all other Is- raelis, in practice the army does not want a sudden flood of tens of thousands of new ,haredi recruits. The Israel Defense Forces lacks the infrastructure to absorb them, both in numbers and operation- ally. What would the army do with 10,000 new re- cruits who are religiously opposed to significant interaction with female instructors? Also, a dramatic trans- formation of the relation- ship between haredim and the state would run up against opposition not only from haredi parties in the Knesset but from haredi citizens. They would see the sudden change as a broadside against their way of life, and mass demonstrations and even riots likely would ensue. It would make the haredi riots against parking lots 9pening on the Sabbath and a Modern Orthodox girls' school in Beit Shem- " esh seem like child's play. The reality is that Is- rael doesn't want all these haredim in the army .What Israel wants is more haredi men working, paying taxes and integrated into Israeli society. Under the current sys- tem, haredi men must stay in yeshiva until their 30s to keep their military ex- emption (religious women are granted exemptions from army service upon request). That has helped bankrupt the haredi com- munity and nurture a black market economy iri which many haredi men work surreptitiously and do not pay taxes. Changing the rule would help drive haredim into the workforce and into better- paying jobs. That would help Israel's tax rolls, reduce haredi dependency on welfare and help inte- grate haredim into Israeli society. There is great debate within the haredi commu- nity about whether or not to welcome these changeS. Some haredim see it as key to the economic and social survival of their com- munity. But other haredi leaders see it as opening up a slilperly slope away from the yeshiva and Jew- ish observance and toward the dangerous temptations of modern, secular Israel. Ultimately, whatever change comes to the haredi community is likely to come gradually. Kadima has proposed exempting 1,000 haredi yeshiva students from the military draft and allowing others to defer military service on a year-by-year basisvhile they are study- ing in yeshiva. According to a report in The Jerusa-" lem Post, Likud is likely to propose an alternative that instead would estab- lish a minimum number of haredi participants in national service programs that would increase every year without a cap on those claiming yeshiva-related exemptions from service. For now, the haredi par- ties appear to be taking a wait-and-see approach. "There can't be a situa- tion in Israel in 2012 where someone who wants to study Torah will not be able to do so," Yakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party told the Post. "But as long as the principle of 'torato Omunato' [Torah is one's work] is preserved, UTJ will remain in the <oalition." ............ 7 --'  i ..... i[T i!:[i:[i;:l " ......  ,; I["