IDF service

Publications Regarding IDF service

Articles

Op-ed

What Really Lies behind the Rabbis’ Directive on Modesty?

What really lies behind the most recent rabbinical directive on modesty in the IDF - and how does it pits religious soldiers against IDF's core values to the extent of risking insubordination. 

Article

Ultra-Orthodox Service in the IDF: An Ongoing Struggle

The tension between the "military service for all" and "exemption for all" represents the tradeoff between the quest for equality and the existing political-social reality.

Op-ed

Defending Women’s Rights to Serve Equally

Creating a gender-equal military is a complicated task, but the IDF must not forget its responsibility, nevertheless many Israeli soldiers have not been trained on gender equality says Idit Shafran Gittleman.

Article

Ultra-Orthodox National Civic Service

What is Wrong with the National Civic Service program for the Ultra-Orthodox and How to Reform It?

Op-ed

Climbing up the Socioeconomic Ladder: Military Service among the Ultra-Orthodox

Even though military service seems to be one of the most blatant threats to the ultra-Orthodox lifestyle, it has become a rather attractive channel for broad segments of the community.

Article

Citizenship and Military Service in Ultra-Orthodox Society

More and more ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) Israelis are enlisting in the IDF, driven by personal, financial, and professional motives, with military service seen as an “entrance ticket” to Israeli society and to the labor market. But military service also introduces them to the shared components of identity and citizenship linking them to the state and its values, and enabling them to identify with others, from outside their community.

Article

The Role of Politicians and the Role of Attorneys

For Israel, coping with the situation in the Gaza Strip is far from simple. The way the situation is handled has security, economic, humanitarian, and political implications. Therefore leadership must act and speak responsibly - this is not always the case.

Article

Women’s Service in the IDF: Between a ‘People’s Army’ and Gender Equality

Over the years and especially in recent decades, the concept of gender equality has also become relevant to the discussion of military service, and more and more roles have been opened up to women serving in the IDF. Dr. Idit Shafran Gittleman presents an overview of 70 years of women in the IDF.

Press Release

Israel needs a draft law that will uphold the principle of civic equality

 

Now is the time to rise above petty politics and pass a draft law that will uphold the principle of civic equality in Israel.

 

Op-ed

Israel's wealthiest are abandoning IDF combat units

Israel's secular elite has lost its enthusiasm for combat service and now targets intelligence units, such as Unit 8200.

Article

Proposal for Amending Ultra-Orthodox Conscription Plan

IDI puts forth analysis of why the proposed conscription plan for the ultra-Orthodox is problematic and offers an alternative approach

Podcast

Quo Vadis, IDF?

Professor Yuval Shany and Professor Amichai Cohen discuss the pivotal role of the IDF in Israeli life - past and present. 

Press Release

Proposed Draft Bill Puts the “People's Army” at Risk

Yohanan Plesner, President of the Israel Democracy Institute cautions that the Ministry of Defense’s proposed draft bill “endangers IDF’s model of service as a “People's Army” based on the principle of mandatory service for all

Op-ed

What is the State’s Obligation to Soldiers who have been Captured while Fulfilling their Duty?

In an op-ed soon to be published by the Jerusalem Report, the former head of the Shin Bet security service argues that mutual responsibility is the cornerstone on which the resilience of Israeli society is founded, and is most strongly expressed in the commitment of the government of Israel to do everything possible to secure the release of its captured soldiers.

Press Release

IDI President Yohanan Plesner: 'Against Rally for Soldier Who Shot Neautralized Terrorist'

IDI President Yohanan Plesner today came out against the decision to hold a rally on April 19 in support of the IDF soldier who shot dead a disarmed Palestinian attacker in Hebron last month.

Op-ed

The Charedi Draft: Here We Go Again

The desired result could have been achieved quietly and efficiently had the Knesset adopted a rational arrangement that would encourage military service through positive and negative economic incentives. (This article was originally published in the Jewish Journal of LA.)

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Snakes and Ladders

Prof. Yedidia Stern analyzes the problems with past proposals to integrate the ultra-Orthodox sector into the IDF, and proposes a new solution.

Op-ed

Is There a Place for God in the Israeli Army?

In an article in the <em>Jewish Week</em>, IDI Vice President Yedidia Stern discusses the question of whether it is appropriate for commanders to use religious rhetoric in motivating their soldiers, and stresses the need for the Israeli army to represent all.

Op-ed

The IDF’s Fighting Ethos in the Wake of Operation Protective Edge

IDI President Yohanan Plesner stresses the need to ensure that the Israel Defense Forces remains at the heart of the Zionist consensus so as to enable it to continue to be the army of all citizens of Israel.

Op-ed

The IDF: Army of the People or Army of God?

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer addresses the question of the appropriateness of the letter that Givati Brigade commander Col.Ofer Winter sent to his subordinate officers as Israel prepared for the ground incursion in Gaza in the summer of 2014.

Op-ed

A Red Alert for Israeli Democracy

In the midst of Operation Protective Edge, IDI President Yohanan Plesner warns of the dangers of racism, incitement, and stifling of free speech and asserts that it is essential to internalize a substantive democratic culture. 

Op-ed

The Role of a Legal Advisor during Times of Combat

IDI Researcher Attorney Eli Bahar discusses the central role that members of Israel's system of legal counsel play in formulating the rules of what is permissible during warfare in real time, during the fighting, in order to ensure that Israel's citizens will not be ashamed of themselves after the fighting ceases. 

Op-ed

Zero Tax, Zero Logic

Attorney Amir Fuchs argues that the proposed legislation that would exempt first-time home-buyers from value added tax (VAT) violates the principle of equality for people who do not serve the State of Israel. 

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox Integration: It Takes Two to Tango

In an op-ed in Ynet News, IDI researcher Dr. Haim Zicherman discusses the steps that Israeli society must take in order to enable ultra-Orthodox men to integrate into the Israeli army and workforce.

Op-ed

My Jerusalem: Thoughts for Jerusalem Day

IDI Vice President Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer shares thoughts on Jerusalem, which symbolizes what is most beautiful and exalted in Jewish culture: the commitment to law and morality, to justice and mercy.

Op-ed

A Jewish State Warrants Our Sacrifice

IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern reflects on the privilege of sacrifice and the necessity to maintain a Jewish Israel in order to justify that sacrifice, in an article written for Remembrance Day for the Fallen of Israel's Wars and Victims of Terrorism.

Op-ed

The IDF and the Ultra-Orthodox

As the Knesset prepares to vote on the "Draft Law" designed to regulate the service of ultra-Orthodox men in the Israel Defense Forces, Dr. Haim Zicherman surveys the current situation within Israel's Haredi community.

Op-ed

An Unequal Share of the Burden? The Truth about the Hesder Yeshivot

Do students in the religious Zionist hesder yeshivot really contribute less to the IDF than other men who serve? IDI Researcher Dr. Benny Porat does the math and comes to an interesting conclusion.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Is the Shaked Committee's Bill Destined to be Overturned?

As the Shaked Committee begins to vote on its proposal for the Haredi draft, Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern warns that the proposal's recommendation to exempt Haredi men of draft age during a three-year "adjustment period" is both inequitable and ineffective. 

Article

Remembering Ariel Sharon (1928–2014)

Dr. Ofer Kenig presents some of the milestones in the career of Ariel Sharon, the 11th Prime Minister of the State of Israel.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: Equality Now?!

On November 21 2013, Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern appeared before the Shaked Committee and argued that criminal sanctions are not recommended for reaching conscription goals. In an op-ed in Makor Rishon, he explains why.

Op-ed

The Contributors to the State Bill: Contributing to the Jewish-Arab Divide

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Att. Talya Steiner warn that the veteran's benefit bill, which is intended to extend benefits to those who have contributed to the State, discriminates against Israel's Arab citizens, who are exempt from military service in Israel.

Op-ed

How Can We Draft the Ultra-Orthodox with Consent?

Is it possible to draft the ultra-Orthodox and integrate them into Israel's society and economy in a mutually-agreeable manner that encourages solidarity between the different sectors of the Jewish people? Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern shares thoughts on wars between brothers and brothers-in-arms.

Op-ed

The Ultra-Orthodox Draft: Crossing the Third Rubicon

Prof. Yedidia Z. Stern and Attorney Haim Zicherman stress the need to break down barriers that are preventing Haredi service in the army and integration in the labor force, and warn against passing a popular but ill-advised reform. 

Op-ed

Haredi Integration: Not by Re-Education

IDI researcher Attorney Haim Zicherman warns against attempts to integrate ultra-Orthodox Jews into the army by encouraging them to abandon their lifestyle, and calls for developing mechanisms that will accept and respect their values. 

Op-ed

The Veterans Benefits Bill: Legal License to Discriminate

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer and Attorney Talya Steiner warn that the proposed veterans benefits bill, which would give preferential treatment in employment, higher education, and housing to those who have served in the Israeli army, gives license to discriminate against Israel's Arab minority.

Op-ed

The Proposals for Drafting the Ultra-Orthodox in Israel: The Issues at Hand

IDI's Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer critiques various aspects of the proposals for integrating the ultra-Orthodox into the army and calls on the Israeli public to stand firm on its demand for an arrangement that is fair and equitable.

Op-ed

The Haredi Draft: The Need for an Alliance of the Moderates

Prof. Yedidia Stern calls for a historic alliance between religious and secular moderates that will yield a solution that will  that will yield a solution that addresses the need for ultra-Orthodox army service while taking into account the most important values of the Haredi community.

Op-ed

The Need for Equal Sharing of the Burden and Strengthening of Torah Study

The need for the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel to share the burden of military service and participate equally in the Israeli economy was a central issue in the 2013 elections. IDI researcher Dr. Benny Porat shares his thoughts on how to bring about this change in the Haredi community.

Op-ed

The Comeback of Polarization

IDI researcher Dr. Benjamin Brown discusses the sense of attack experienced by the Haredi community in the 2013 election campaign and calls for a process of gradual change in integrating the ultra-Orthodox in the Israeli army and workforce.

Op-ed

Habayit Hayehudi and Refusal of Orders: The Real Question

Naftali Bennett's statement that he would refuse orders if commanded to evacuate settlements raises questions about the type of insubordination that he and his party condone. In an op-ed in Yedioth Ahronoth, Prof. Yedidia Stern calls on Habayit Hayehudi to clarify its position on the matter.

Op-ed

Israeli Public Opinion on Drafting Haredi Yeshiva Students

An analysis of Israeli public opinion on the issue of drafting ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, as revealed in polls conducted by IDI's Guttman Center for Surveys from 1986 through 2009.

Op-ed

The Haredim and the State of Israel

In an op-ed in The Jerusalem Post, IDI's Prof. Yedidia Stern, who served on the Plesner Committee for Equality in National Service, and Mr. Jay Ruderman analyze the Haredi community's reluctance to serve in the Israeli army and present an approach that will facilitate Haredi integration into Israel's army and society.

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox Conscription: Making It Work

Will the High Court of Justice’s refusal to extend the Tal Law indeed reduce the inequality of burden sharing in Israeli society? IDI Senior Fellow Prof. Momi Dahan does not think so, and argues that ultra-Orthodox Jews in Israel should be exempted from the army and allowed to work, so as to assume their fair share of the tax burden.

Op-ed

Do Not Put an End to Ultra-Orthodox Army Service

Following the dissolution of the Committee to Advance Equality in Sharing the Burden, committee head MK Yohanan Plesner submitted proposals for alternatives to the Tal Law. In this article, IDI Researcher Attorney Haim Zicherman, who served as the content coordinator of the Plesner Committee, warns that some of those measures were personal recommendations rather than recommendations of the Committee, and may reverse trends of increasing army service by ultra-Orthodox Jews.

Op-ed

The Tal Law: Judicial Responsibility at its Best

Prof. Mordechai Kremnitzer presents a contrasting view to Prof. Yedidia Stern's assertion that the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling on the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service in Israel is "<a href="http://en.idi.org.il/analysis/articles/judicial-activism-at-its-height">Judicial Activism at its Height</a>." 

Op-ed

The Tal Law: Judicial Activism at its Height

The Supreme Court's decision to strike down the Tal Law, after 30 years of avoiding the issue of the exemption of ultra-Orthodox Jews from military service, is an expression of judicial activism that illustrates the transformation that the Israeli Supreme Court has undergone in the last generation. In this op-ed, originally published in Hebrew in <em>Makor Rishon</em>, IDI Vice President Prof. Yedidia Stern asserts that the Court went too far in this ruling and that its activism is hard to justify.

If They Give, They Will Receive

In this response to the Supreme Court ruling on the Tal Law, IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg asserts that the exemption of ultra-Orthodox men from military service is an unparalleled <em>Hillul Hashem</em>—a desecration of the Name of God, and shares his views of a possible solution.

Op-ed

Make the Ultra-Orthodox Serve

IDI Vice President of Research Prof. Yedidia Stern sets the  controversy over mass transportation on Shabbat and holidays in Israel in a broader context, and distinguished between the need for an Israeli-Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) rather than a religious Shabbat.

Op-ed

In the Aftermath of the Tal Law

Will the Israeli Supreme Court's ruling that the Tal Law is unconstitutional really guarantee that the burden of Israel's defense will be shared equally by the country's citizens? IDI's Prof. Yedidia Stern warns that this ruling may actually hinder the integration of the Haredi community into Israeli society rather than promoting it.

Op-ed

Finding Middle Ground

In an op-ed in Israel Hayom, IDI researcher Adv. Haim Zicherman argues that a temporary extension of the Tal Law would help the growing trend of ultra-Orthodox enlistment in the IDF and would enable volunteering for civilian service to continue.

Article

The “People’s Army”?

This article presents the main milestones in the recurring attempts to put a satisfactory arrangement for the deferment of military service for yeshiva students in place. In doing so, it surfaces the changes that have occurred over time in the constitutional, legal, and public responses and attitudes on this issue.

Op-ed

Ultra-Orthodox in the IDF: A Ticking Time Bomb

To encourage enlistment, Israel should adopt a conscription model that is cognizant of the ultra-Orthodox fear of erosion of their identity and employs both positive and negative economic incentives.

Press Release

Supreme Court Strikes Down ultra-Orthodox Exemption From Military

IDI responds to high court ruling: “The time has come for our politicians to demonstrate leadership and work to enact a more equitable and effective arrangement.”

Op-ed

Springboard to Employment: How Ultra-Orthodox Men Benefit from IDF Service

Army service is an extremely powerful “employment engine” for most ultra-Orthodox men whose religious education does not provide them with the general background or professional training necessary for joining the work force outside the ultra-Orthodox sector.

Play
Op-ed

How Israel’s Leadership Betrayed Democracy

Despite the verdict, the real story in the Azaria affair is the moral, not the legal, issue, and this debate is alive and well.

Article

Pardon Requests in Cases Brought Before Israeli Military Courts: How Do They Work?

Even before the conclusion of the Elor Azaria trial, there were calls for the 'Hebron Shooter' to be pardoned. Under such circumstances, what does a pardon entail and how can an IDF soldier who had been sentenced in a military court of law be granted one?

Press Release

IDI in the Media on Elor Azaria

IDI was quoted in nearly 500 articles connected to the Elor Azaria verdict, including interviews with Yohanan Plesner, Yedidia Stern, Mota Kremnitzer, Amichai Cohen, Tamar Hermann and Tehilla Shwartz Altshuler. We reached a potential 403 million individuals, through coverage in 28 countries and 42 states, plus Washington, D.C.

Press Release

The Post that was Never Written

"The court must be allowed to pursue the legal process, without intimidation or attempts to undermine its independence."

Elor Azaria: Statement by IDI President Plesner

Following the conviction of Elor Azaria on Wednesday, January 4, IDI President Yohahan Plesner called on leaders to spearhead a coordinated effort involving the education system, the IDF, and the political leadership.

Article

Has an IDF Soldier Ever Been Convicted of Manslaughter?

In the last decade, no member of the IDF has been convicted of an offense as serious as that with which Azaria is charged.