On Wednesday, 18 Tammuz, the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee discussed the Defense Minister’s regulations for chareidi recruitment. When the regulations that came up for discussion in the committee, they were completely different from the regulations that were prepared. The chareidi MKs and the teams have been working in recent weeks to change the regulations that will be brought to the vote at the next meeting.
During the meeting, MKs referred to Article 5, which states that the defense minister will have the authority to cancel the status of a ben yeshiva in a yeshiva in which there are calls for violence and criminal activity by the senior yeshiva staff. This is clearly aimed at yeshivos affiliated with the Peleg faction.
Those who opposed the law were representatives of dati leumi community who feared that the article would harm the yeshivot of the sector. At first it seemed that the chareidi representatives were also enlisting to prevent the clause.
MK Menachem Eliezer Moses told the chareidi media that he is opposed to giving the Defense Minister this status, to cancel the yeshiva status of a talmid. Taking a different position however are MKs from Degel Hatorah, realizing the new regulation is aimed directly at the Peleg faction of the litvish community which calls for protests in the streets. Shas has also signaled it is not opposed to amending the regulation to give the defense minister this authority.
At present, the objections are heard from the dati leumi community, which remains opposed to the proposed change in regulations.
However, with regard to another clause stating that the defense minister will be entitled to cancel the yeshiva status of a yeshiva where 20% did not register at the induction and file for a delay in induction as bnei torah do. MK Uri Maklev asked to raise the percentages to 30% in order to influence yeshivas such as Ponevezh headed by HaGaon HaRav Shmuel Markowitz, who according to the IDF’s data, about 80 percent of the yeshiva reports to the IDF as required by law.
On yeshivos like Grodna where most of the students do not report, the defense minister will be entitled to revoke their status as a yeshiva even after the amendment. MK Uri Maklev stated he too does not oppose amending the regulations as proposed.