The Impending Israeli Implosion Over The Haredi Draft

Empowering Weak & Oppressed

Omar Ahmed

Shawwal 22, 1445 2024-05-01

News & Analysis

by Omar Ahmed (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 54, No. 3, Shawwal, 1445)

Image Source - Pixbay Free Content

Over 200 days into the genocidal war being waged on Gaza by the US-backed Israeli military, more than 34,000 Palestinians have been killed, including 14,000 children. Nearly 85 percent of Gaza Strip’s 2.3 million people have been displaced. Most of the enclave’s infrastructure has also been destroyed. The overwhelming majority of houses are now heaps of rubble.

Despite the absence of a lasting ceasefire agreement, the massive human toll of the war, and the destabilizing impact on the wider region, the occupation state has failed strategically. The Palestinian resistance is still very much in the fight, and any remaining Israeli prisoners of war still inside in Gaza. Moreover, the Hamas-led resistance is supported by the Axis of Resistance, especially with Iran’s “Truthful Promise” operation of April 13. It complimented the ongoing Al-Aqsa Flood, which was launched on October 7, 2023.

According to a scathing opinion piece in Israel’s Ha‘aretz, the zionist entity has lost its “total victory” in Gaza. “Israel joined the club of ostracized, branded, leprous countries, a target for outrage, protests and sanctions, a country unwelcome in polite society,” wrote the Israel newspaper.

In his latest address, the spokesman of Hamas’ military wing, Abu Obaida said: “In 200 days, the enemy has only achieved mass killings, destruction, and murder… they will only reap shame and defeat.”

This is an accurate reading of events, given the domestic political turmoil in Israel. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is deeply unpopular, and growing isolated internationally. Facing a slew of corruption charges, he is fighting for his political survival and that of his right-wing, extremist coalition regime.

His corruption charges predate October 7. Netanyahu’s unpopularity was rising sharply. His reputation was tarnished with corruption scandals and the controversial judicial reforms saw unprecedented mass protests.

Now, his mishandling of the Gaza war has become another reason from him to be despised. It is both a humanitarian and a strategic failure.

Significantly, the long-standing issue of Orthodox Jews refusing military service continues to stir societal discord. Currently every Israeli citizen who is “Jewish, Druze or Circassian” must serve in the occupation army from the age of 18. Muslims and Christians are not obligated to do so, while the Hardem, the ultra-Orthodox Jews are exempt, and have been since the illegal implantation of the zionist entity in 1948.

The issue of military service exemptions for Orthodox Jews has been a contentious topic in Israeli society. These exemptions are based on religious commitments, with the Orthodox community prioritizing state-funded religious studies over military service. This has led to societal resentment, especially as the Israeli army is considered a ‘unifying’ national institution.

Both Defence Minister Yoav Gallant and Army Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi have argued that the military needs additional manpower to sustain the genocidal war in Gaza and continue its aggression against Hizbullah in Lebanon. Gallant stated, “We need manpower now—it’s math, not politics.”

However, Israeli war cabinet minister and National Unity Party leader Benny Gantz has threatened to leave the government if legislation exempting the ultra-Orthodox from being conscripted into the Israeli army is passed. He described the legislation as “a red line during normal times, and a black flag during wartime.”

Moreover chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef warned of an exodus, with the ultra-Orthodox Jews threatening to leave Israel altogether if the regime ends exemptions of mandatory military enlistment. He said that ultimately it would threaten the very existence of the “Jewish” state. The Haredim are Israel’s fastest growing population, projected to stand at 16% by the end of the decade.

Adding to pressure on the Netanyahu regime, the Supreme Court has ended state subsidies for many ultra-Orthodox men. This ruling comes after multiple delays by the regime in proposing reforms to increase ultra-Orthodox military enlistment. As the court deemed the existing exemption system discriminatory, it has given the zionist regime a deadline to present a new plan and to enact it by June 30.

With the longest war in its short history, there have been daily widespread protests in Israel, uniting diverse segments of the population in opposition to Netanyahu’s policies. This has exacerbated the already existing tensions related to the military draft and societal divisions.

The war has not only highlighted the strategic missteps by Netanyahu’s extremist regime but also intensified public scrutiny of his leadership. The perception of a failing military strategy has significantly impacted morale within the military and among the general public. Both see the prolongation of conflict without clear victory as futile and destructive.

The combination of military dissatisfaction, societal divisions, and political unpopularity creates a volatile mix that could lead to increased civil unrest. That many settlers are already armed also doesn’t bode well for the security of the state, which in Weberian terms is supposed to have monopoly on violence. While outright civil war might not be imminent, conditions are ripe for sustained internal conflicts, which could destabilize the occupation state further.

The economy has declined precipitously and there is diminishing appeal for foreign investments in such circumstances. This grim situation is exacerbated by the Yemeni Ansarallah’s naval operations against Israeli-affiliated vessels in the Red Sea. All these have only compounded Israel’s woes.

As Israel grapples with the myriad facets of a crisis both internal and external, chances for the occupation state’s implosion hover. They are being accelerated by both missiles coming from outside and societal discord inside. The demise of the zionist entity may yet fall within the prediction made by the Rahbar, Imam Sayyed Ali Khamenei of Iran that it will not last more than 25 years. He stated this back in 2016.

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