One could barely fill a thimble with the number of causes a leftist and rightist will agree upon. But that doesn’t mean that a worthy one should be ignored, just because the opposite side is embracing and championing it. Not at all. Morally right – no pun intended – is morally right. Period.
To catch American (and other nationals) readers up to speed, here’s the deal-there is a growing, some might say gaping, chasm traversing the Israeli landscape. Its core revolves around the Tal Law (to be explained below), and the Knesset commissions set up to address this volatile issue.
In particular, the above law is designed to exempt the ultra-Orthodox (mainly Haredim) and Arab communities from army enlistment and national community service. The ultra-Orthodox are “up in arms” about pressures – via public heat applied upon the politicians – exerted on them to enlist (in either IDF or national community service),due to their insistence on learning full time in Torah-based studies, and that nothing should be allowed to interfere with that. Beg to differ.
Whereas Israel’s essence derives from its place as a “light unto the nations”, this is not a mandate for full time learning for many thousands of boys and girls post high school. Firstly, not all Torah learners are equal. Let’s face facts. Just as in any discipline there are those who will be exceptional scholars, others – not so much. Besides, a deep connection to G-d does not require full time learning! The Orthodox concept, “Torah v’madah” – Torah and work – is a much accepted and central Orthodox construct.
Specifically, those who want to learn will find the time, be it in the evening hours or on the weekends. (My son, and many of his friends are passionate Torah learners, yet they combine IDF reserve service, full time professional jobs, and weekend Torah learning, why can’t the Haredim?) More to the point, those who are exceptional Torah scholars – there are many tests/ways to pick them out-are the ones who should be exempted in order to dedicate themselves to full time Torah studies, for it will be their unique grasp of Torah studies which will guide future generations. As to the rest, they must either choose between army or communal service, and an agreeable formula can be reached. Either way, this group of healthy citizens will need to shoulder the national burden. They would serve their nation well if they finally ! got with the program.
Let’s also face (uncomfortable) facts – many want to (mis)use Torah studies – a very worthy and noble pursuit, in and of itself – as an easy cop out to not shoulder their national burden.
As to the Arabs, this is another kettle of fish, but equally important to address. Many, though hardly all, display utter contempt for the nation which has given them more freedom, wealth and opportunity than they can dream of, let alone ever find in the Arab nations they heart with. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! Of course, their ever inciting Arab leadership – political and communal – whine about this or that disparity between Arabs and Jews, therefore, their people should be exempt from any national service. Poppycock.
Nevertheless, the Arab formula for national service must be more nuanced, even though many will rail against it. Too damn bad. Therefore, it behooves cooler heads to prevail, getting real in the process. Except for special cases – these exceptions can be discerned through various intelligence agencies – in no way, shape or form dare our leadership enlist Arabs en mass into our IDF! Fox in the hen house.
Let us learn from our American friends, as they are waking up to their own internal horror, due to the enlistment of over a hundred (who knows how many more will be identified) “Islamic soldiers” within the US Army. The Pentagon has become dangerously infected with the PC virus, therefore, none of this should come as a shock. Thus, the FBI is now busy tracking them down-http://www.npr.org/2012/06/25/155710570/fbi-checking-100-suspected-extremists-in-military, attempting to avert another mass killing akin to Fort Hood’s “servant of Allah”, Major Nidal Hasan. His was not an isolated case, far from it.
Thereby, in order to pretend that all communities are considered “equal” in Israeli society, does this delusional thinking warrant giving many – who abhor us to the extreme, identifying with our genocidal foes – the tools to kill us, but this time, from within? Are our leaders that insane? Let’s hope not. However, national/communal service definitely fits the bill for the Arab community. Why in the world shouldn’t Arabs, who enjoy all our social services, contribute their time? In fact, it may even open up their (biased) eyes, showing them that Jews are also poor, victimized and in need of many helping hands. Why shouldn’t they extend theirs? Indeed.
Back to the convergence of leftists and rightists rallying around a cause. There have been many demonstrations, from different sectors of the community, calling for the same thing-service for all. The leaders of this are mainly IDF recruits, feeling betrayed and taken advantage of, hence, “Camp Sucker”. To get a glimpse into their protest movement please see this very informative encapsulation-http://www.jpost.com/NationalNews/Article.aspx?id=276433&R=R2.
As a patriot, as a woman who understands that our people would be lost without our Torah, and as an equal opportunity sharer of our national burden, this movement is not only moral, but it is just. Besides, why should my sons, olim/immigrants too – as well as many others – protect the nation, while others sit idly by at their expense?
Not nice. Not nice at all. The repeal of the Tal Law can’t come soon enough!