Thursday, February 02, 2012

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Israel Social Conflict – The Reverse Side

News Report: Former haredi troops demand to report for reserve duty.  Dozens of ultra-Orthodox youths claim IDF refuses to call them in for reserve service, despite pleas.

The Israeli Defense Forces ultra-orthodox infantry battalion (Netzach Yehuda) is full.  All combat positions are filled, such that many new inductees are being sent off to other non-combat units (as a group of ultra-orthodox guys), such as base security, maintenance, transportation.

Similarly, as from the news report above, when the combat trained ultra-orthodox young men complete their service, they’re not being assigned to combat-reserve units nor have they created such units for the ultra-orthodox infantry battalion. 

So Israeli secular society screams “the ultra-orthodox won’t enlist and serve”.  The ultra-orthodox say “just set us up a pure army environment (subtract the cultural indoctrination aspects) with glatt kosher food (readily available in Israel) and without female trainers and we will.”  After 15 years of being pressured the army finally does set up such a unit and it’s flooded with recruits.

The army doesn’t expand the unit and doesn’t set it up for reserve duty, limiting opportunities, impact and the change for some of these young men to make a choice of an army career.

There are a lot of problems in charedi society, and even bigger problems in societal relationships in Israel.  While these are the kind of things that lead to resolving them for the next generation…Israeli secular society isn’t sure it wants it.

( There’s a side argument that these “religious accommodations” carry an extra cost.  That argument is false.  90% of the food products purchased by the IDF are already under glatt kosher supervision, and the IDF kitchen kosher supervisors for the regular kitchens are already orthodox and ultra-orthodox supervisors.  Dropping cultural indoctrination and associated trips is a cost savings, as would be the dropping of IDF singing bands. )

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