“The current situation in which thousands of haredim do not study, serve or work cannot continue,” the Bayit Yehudi chairman wrote this week. “It’s not ethical and it’s not sustainable and the Israeli economy cannot withstand it.” He insisted, however, that “haredim are our brothers” and that he merely wants to see their integration into Israeli society.That may not be entirely accurate, if what I found earlier about the yeshivas in New York not providing education in English tells something.
Bennett said that the phenomenon did not exist anywhere else in the world, writing: “In New York, haredim study and also work.”
He denied that he was feeling any “external pressure” on him and the party, referring to reports that senior national-religious rabbis from the sector’s more conservative wing would oppose any agreement by Bayit Yehudi that would lead to the drafting of haredi yeshiva students.That's right, it's we the voters who want the Haredis to serve in the army and go to work, and we expect the parties we voted for to help see to it that this can be worked out.
“I’m not feeling any pressure from these sources, but instead I feel obligated to you, the hundreds of thousands of Israelis who voted for us to enact the principles we presented [in the election campaign],” he noted, indirectly rebuffing any notion that the party might adhere to the will of national-religious rabbis rather than of its voters.
So I hope the rabbis affiliated with the Jewish Home will be behind Bennett (and Yair Lapid) on this 100 percent, and understand that if the Haredi leadership is going to be so opposed to serving, there's really no need to act as though they must please them at all costs.