IDF clamps down on Yeshiva exemption violators
A HAREDI MAN shows his call-up notice to soldiers to allow him entry to the Jerusalem recruitment office
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
The IDF has in recent months conducted searches on Facebook and other social media sites for the names of men aged 18-24 who were supposedly studying in yeshiva.
The army has discovered some 4,000 young haredi men who are not living in accordance with a religious lifestyle even though they have received an exemption from military service because they are supposedly full-time yeshiva students.According to a report on Ynet, the IDF has ramped up its enforcement of the laws pertaining to military service evasion and exemptions in the last year, and has been clamping down on registered yeshiva students who do not study the requisite number of hours per week.Full-time yeshiva students are able to obtain repeat, oneyear military service deferrals from the age of 18 until they receive a final exemption at 24, the age of military service exemption, but they must study 45 hours a week at a recognized institution.According to the report, personnel in the army’s manpower directorate in recent months have conducted searches on Facebook and other social media sites for the names of men ages 18-24 who supposedly were studying in yeshiva. The searches found that many of these men had posted pictures of themselves on social-media sites at the beach, at social gatherings and befriending girls at various social activities.“Many people in the haredi sector have Facebook,” one official in the IDF Manpower Directorate told Ynet, adding that they discovered that “many are in yeshiva, but they are not really in yeshiva.” “As soon as we discover that one of these youngsters isn’t fulfilling the conditions of his service deferral, we cancel his status [as a full-time yeshiva student], after which he is summoned to a hearing and presented with the evidence and then he is granted the right to appeal.”Although the IDF has always undertaken enforcement measures, he said increased use of social media in the haredi community had made it easier to identify people who were not fulfilling their obligations.Many youths who have been caught in this fashion have been issued enlistment orders and have begun IDF service. Others have successfully appealed the revocation of their status as yeshiva students, and returned to their yeshivot.