Lapid says Netanyahu endangering state by postponing enlisting of Haredim

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid leads a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on March 18, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid leads a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on March 18, 2024. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is endangering Israel’s security by delaying the enlistment of the ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, community, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid says, calling for the immediate enlistment of at least 10,000 Haredi young men.

“The Israeli government is preparing to request another postponement of the conscription law. This is a repugnant act. I have no other expression,” he says.

Netanyahu reportedly hopes to postpone the enlistment of members of the Haredi community until the beginning of July, while the coalition works to formulate a new conscription law.

“It is no longer just an ideological discussion. It is an operational necessity. If we want to be able to operate in the north, if we want to deal with the threats that are increasing in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank], we need more soldiers,” Lapid says.

He criticizing those who want to delay because “it’s a process.”

“What process exactly? Do you think that our children went through a process before they enlisted? The only process is that you enlist, go to training, and at the end of the training you are a soldier.

“The debate about recruitment should have ended on October 7. The military has been saying this for months. The chief of staff said it, the defense minister said it. We need to recruit at least 10,00 Haredi young men,” he continues.

He urges the coalition to tell its Haredi parties: “You need to realize that you are done getting without giving. Those who do not enlist will not receive a single penny from the state.”

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