NEW YORK (Mar. 13)
A resolution adopted by the National Religious Party convention in Tel Aviv two weeks ago was “erroneously, and perhaps maliciously” interpreted in some quarters as advocating compulsory military service for yeshiva students in Israel, the Vaad Hapoel of the Religious Zionists of America claimed in a resolution approved at a meeting here.
According to the RZA, the NRP resolution urged all yeshivot in Israel to introduce military training for their students in the manner and style of those yeshivot which participate in the voluntary system of military service through the yeshiva “hesder” program.
The Vaad Hapoel of the Religious Zionists of America herewith reaffirms its commitment to the idea that military service by yeshiva students shall remain voluntary with no conscription whatever by the (Israeli) government and it urged the National Religious Party in-Israel to remain steadfast in the defense of this position,
It added: “At the same time, the Vaad Hapoel expresses its deep regret and-resentment that so many people in the U.S. and elsewhere misinterpreted the resolution passed by the NRP in Israel so as to convey the impression that Religious Zionists favor military conscription of yeshiva students.”
The NRP resolution has come under bitter attack by Orthodox groups in the U.S. and Israel, including Israel’s two Chief Rabbis, Shlomo Goren and Ovadia Yosef.