Religion Magazine

Haredi Draft Numbers Declined, Despite Lapid Not Being in Government

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
Haaretz is reporting the the drafting of Haredi young men into the IDF dropped by 20% in 2018.
The article itself online is behind a paywall so here is an image of it that was posted online:
Haredi draft numbers declined, despite Lapid not being in government
I would note that the article says this is the first time the number has dropped since the IDF started opening special Haredi units in 2007. I would also note that this is notable because many leaders of the Haredi community have said, and the general Haredi community has taken that as writ - I too believed it only based on what they said - that when Lapid was a minister in the government (2013-2015?) the numbers dropped because of him - because Lapid fought against the Haredi community even though he was couching his words in terms that made some people think he was trying to help the Haredi community - it generated a reaction among Haredim and they realized what was really going on and basically circled the wagons and reacted by drafting less, among other things.
So, first of all, that seems to be not true. I never knew that before, but if the numbers presented by Haaretz here are correct, the numbers never dropped until 2018.
And second of all, even if the Haaretz numbers are skewed and not accurate, the claim was always that it was because of Lapid that Haredi young men stopped drafting and caused a decline in the numbers. Now that the numbers dropped in 2018, with no Lapid in sight, with the Haredi parties full members of the government, with probably the most Haredi-friendly government in history, the numbers of Haredi young men drafting has dropped. So the claim of Lapid being at fault was likely almost always disingenuous and a deflection.
I do not know the reason for the decline in the draft percentage. The article doesn't say. There can be a number of causes and influences and it is probably not because of one specific reason, but it seems likely to me now that the reason for the previous decline, if it even happened, was probably not true either.
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