Former IDF chiefs and current opposition figures Benny Gantz and Gadi Eisenkot slam the government’s purported plan to lower the IDF age of exemption in order to allow ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to enter the workforce earlier, but also increase payments and salaries to some IDF soldiers.
Gantz, a former defense minister and the current head of the National Unity party, says that the government’s reported current plan “is dangerous.”
Eisenkot says that during this time of division, “it is best not to introduce another partisan dispute.” He says that passing legislation that exempts wide swaths of Israeli society from military service “will have an effect on all those who do serve.”
The proposal by Gantz and Eisenkot seeks to entrench the concept of national service for populations that do not serve, including Haredi and Arab men and women.
The Likud party, meanwhile, counters that the framework currently under discussion is “similar” to Gantz’s — which passed a first reading before the last government was dissolved.