Community activist: First enlist yeshiva students falsely exempted from IDF service

Cnaan Lidor is The Times of Israel's Jewish World reporter

At least 10,000 Haredi men are exempted annually from military service under false pretenses and should enlist per the High Court of Justice ruling, says an ultra-Orthodox activist promoting enlistment.

“It should start with those exempted who only say they attend yeshivot [but actually don’t attend],” Eliyahu Glatzenberg, co-founder of the Achvat Torah nonprofit, tells The Times of Israel following the High Court of Justice’s ruling.

Definitions of who is Haredi vary, complicating statistics. Shomrim, an investigative journalism platform, says that by the most liberal definition, only about 1,000 Haredim enlisted in 2019 and 2020, about half of the levels in the years 2013-2018. Statistics for 2021-2023 are similar, an Israel Defense Forces representative told a Knesset committee in February.

“If the 10,000-odd wrongfully exempted Haredim are targeted, there’d be more understanding of it by Haredi community leaders than if the army conscripted actual yeshiva students,” says Glatzenberg.

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