An outrageous intervention

Haredi MK Yaakov Litzman bails draft evading yeshiva student out of jail

"Get out of jail free" is no longer a tactic limited to the Monopoly board, but now a method employed ultra-Orthodox rabbis and politicians to release yeshiva students arrested for draft evasion.

Haredim10, an ultra-Orthodox news site, reported a story in which a yeshiva student was arrested for evading the IDF draft and was released from detainment through the help of MK Yaakov Litzman, from the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazic party, United Torah Judaism.

The website reported that the student was stopped by Israeli Police for driving without a seatbelt. After the police officer ran a background check on the driver, the report showed that the individual had not reported to the IDF Enlistment Office and was defined as an IDF deserter. The student had reportedly ignored his draft orders following instructions from his rabbi in yeshiva.

The yeshiva student was subsequently transferred to the police station and his family contacted the head of his yeshiva.

The head of the yeshiva then turned to "The Committee for Saving the World of Torah from the Draft Decree." The group contacted MK Litzman who was easily able to release the student from the police station before being turned over to Israel's Military Police.

This worrisome event bears increased significance in light of the Haredi Conscription Law, which was passed in March 2014. The law states that if the initial draft numbers set out by Israel are not met by 2017, yeshiva students who disobey draft orders will be arrested and subject to criminal sanctions.

Under such a situation, this story could become a regular occurrence, undermining Israeli law and efforts for attaining equality in sharing Israel's civic and defense burden.

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