Draft Haredim who don’t learn, says ultra-Orthodox MK
search

Draft Haredim who don’t learn, says ultra-Orthodox MK

Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism tells US Jewish leaders that he joined the IDF after he left religious studies

Ilan Ben Zion, a reporter at the Associated Press, is a former news editor at The Times of Israel. He holds a Masters degree in Diplomacy from Tel Aviv University and an Honors Bachelors degree from the University of Toronto in Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, Jewish Studies, and English.

MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. (photo credit: Courtesy)
MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) speaks at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. (photo credit: Courtesy)

MK Meir Porush of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party on Tuesday said that any Haredi teen who does not study in yeshiva after high school must enlist in the Israel Defense Forces.

Speaking at a gathering of world Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, Porush told the audience, “When I finished learning, I declared as such, and received a notice from the draft office. I completed a special service of four months and even served in reserves.”

“Whoever doesn’t sit and learn [in yeshiva] must enlist,” he said.

Porush, a one-time candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, did not go so far as to break ranks with his party and side with the various factions, including Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home, calling for a universal draft law to force the ultra-Orthodox into the military.

Other United Torah Judaism MKs have voiced firm opposition to mandatory army service altogether. MK Moshe Gafni in October asserted that Torah study is itself a service to the state and that it, and it alone, “kept the Jewish people alive and enabled them to return to their land.” MK Israel Eichler warned that any sort of forced decision could lead to riots “similar to those in Syria and Egypt.”

read more:
comments