Religion Magazine

No More Hetter Mechira in the IDF

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
reports have Rav Rafi Peretz, Chief Rabbi of the IDF, having made a decision to order the army to change its fruit and vegetable policy for the coming year.
Next year, 5775, is going to be shmitta, The IDF, along with most of the country, relies on the hetter mechira for its fruits and vegetables. Normally. Not next year.
Out of consideration for the increasing number of Haredi soldiers, Rav Peretz has instructed the IDF to only purchase fruits and vegetables next year from imported produce, and not hetter mechira produce.
That is a great gesture to make for the Haredi soldiers, who will generally not eat hetter mechira produce, but it has upset some people.
Minister of Agriculture Yair Shamir  is upset and has said that for 95% of the nation, and the army being the nation's army, the kashrut of hetter mechira is satisfactory, and the IDF should not give preference to purchasing from either Jordan or non-Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria over hetter mechira produce. As well, the change will cost the country, supposedly, 100 million shekels.
The organization of farmers is also upset about what they call this populist decision and will cause damage to the Israeli agriculture market.
The Defense Ministry rejects the criticism calling it inaccurate. The Defense Ministry says the contract is only for half a year and only for up to 10 (or 30 according to Kipa) million shekels. No final decision has yet been made, but either way produce will only be purchased from Israeli agriculture.
sources: Kipa and Ladaat
I am not sure about that last line - if a decision hasnt been made, how will they buy from Israeli agriculture no matter what, and conversely, if a decision hasnt yet been made how was a contract signed for half a year, and if a decision hasnt yet been made, how are they buying foreign produce only from Israeli farmers?
I like the idea of being accommodating to the soldiers who wont eat hetter mechira, but I dont know why it requires them to change the supply of the entire army, which upsets some people and costs more. Just like in the Haredi army units they supply the soldiers with mehadrin food with hechshers that are acceptable to those soldiers, and not Rabbanut like the rest of the army, so they can also provide those same units with fruits and vegetables that are not hetter mechira. I don't know why this has to affect the entire army.
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