Shaked Committee Stuck on “Who is a Charedi?”

YERUSHALAYIM -

The Shaked Committee has decided that chareidim should serve in the army or face criminal and economic sanctions, but it hasn’t yet decided who is a chareidi.

That rather basic lack of definition emerged on Monday as the committee sought to clarify the clause in the new Equal Burden of Service Law calling for fines of “chareidi yeshivos” which do not comply with the IDF’s draft quotas.

Committee members were stymied as they groped for a definition of the term “chareidi yeshivos.”

While legal advisors were supposed to have already defined the term, Committee Chair MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) said that this was overlooked due to time considerations. As such, the matter was left for the committee to decide, according to Arutz Sheva.

“Currently the definition is very broad and I’m not sure that without thorough educational testing in this area, we can ever know who exactly is in each institution,” Yaakov Friedberg of the Ministry of Justice, said.

MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) said that, as of now, the definition of “chareidi” is usually determined by the yeshivah students themselves.

“In 90 percent of cases, the person who determines whether or not he is chareidi is not an outside institution, but the person himself, who chooses to go to a chareidi yeshivah,” Yogev stated.

“You cannot force the definition on people,” Yogev argued, “and say, ‘you are chareidi and you are not.’”

The MKs were forced to acknowledge that it is no minor point.

“We have a clause here that is capable of uprooting all of the work done here in the past few months,” MK Itzik Shmuli (Labor) argued. “If you say that it’s up to two ministers and a Committee chairman to decide, that is not especially reassuring. We have no idea who will be serving in these positions in a few years. Why don’t we add an appendix with a list of institutions [to which the law applies]?”

Unable to resolve the difficulty on the spot, Shaked called a halt to proceedings and asked the Justice Ministry to meet with the Ministry of Education as soon as possible to clarify the matter.