Immigrants from the CIS who are age 25 and older are not
drafted into the Israeli army due to budgetary
considerations, even if they want to serve. This was already
disclosed two years ago, and the security system is aware of
it. Former Chief of Staff, Amnon Lipkin Shachak confirmed
this week that immigrants are not drafted, and said that the
reason for this policy is indeed budgetary.
About 100,000 immigrants, mostly from the former Soviet
Union, are among those not drafted. All of the former IDF
chiefs of staff, as well as the heads of the security arms
and other senior officials in the army are aware of the
situation, but none of them ever publicly opposed the
decison. Yesterday the IDF was asked why the politicians make
such a fuss about the drafting of yeshiva students if there
is no budget for drafting the 100,000 immigrants who want to
enlist in the army, but are rejected and not taken.
Amnon Shachak noted that when he was Chief of Staff, the army
did not draft the immigrants due to budgetary considerations.
He said that he is referring to men of 25 and up, who have
families and cannot contribute to the army as regular
soldiers. "This procedure has been in existence for a number
of years, due to the large waves of immigration, and the
immigrants of whom we are speaking would anyway not serve a
full stint in the army. Since they won't able to integrate
with the IDF, the army has made a budgetary consideration by
not drafting them."
Shachak also said that the claim that these immigrants could
help lessen the burden of the reserves is not correct, since
only soldiers who served in combat units during their regular
army service can perform long reserves missions. "The
reserves service isn't based on the principle of equality,
and it falls mainly on combat soldiers who served in the
regular army. Most of the other reserves men aren't called up
at all, but do a brief stint. The immigrants will not make
things easier for the reserves."
Shachak confirmed that this topic was raised many times at
all of the political levels, as well as before the Security
Ministers and the heads of the security arms. However the IDF
has determined an order of preferences, and has even lessened
the reserve stints of permanent reserves soldiers.