supreme-court-mandate-–-ultra-orthodox-jews-must-serve-in-the-army

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

In a landmark decision that could significantly impact Israel’s political scene, the country’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Tuesday that ultra-Orthodox Jews must be included in the military draft.

All nine judges of the court concurred that there is no legal basis for the government to exempt Haredi Yeshiva students from military service, according to Israeli public broadcaster Kan.

Additionally, the court ruled that the government can no longer provide financial support to Yeshiva student schools without a military service exemption.

Since 2017, successive Israeli governments have struggled to reach a consensus on Haredi conscription after the Supreme Court invalidated a 2015 law that exempted them from military service, citing a violation of the “principle of equality.”

‘Betrayal of the Army’ – Lapid Says Netanyahu Undermines National Security

The Times of Israel reports that an estimated 67,000 Haredi males are eligible for military service.

Religious parties, which are key allies of embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, oppose the conscription of Haredi Jews. 

In contrast, secular and nationalist parties support it and demand that religious students share the “burden of war,” creating a significant challenge for Netanyahu’s coalition.

Haredi Jews, who comprise about 13 percent of Israel’s population of approximately 9.7 million, traditionally do not serve in the military, citing their commitment to studying the Torah, Judaism’s holy book.

Netanyahu is facing considerable political pressure due to public discontent over Israel’s eight-month offensive in Gaza and his ongoing political scandals.

‘We Will Leave’

Currently, Haredim can avoid military service at 18, the age of mandatory conscription, by obtaining annual deferments for religious studies until they reach the exemption age of 26. 

The proposed law would lower this exemption age to 21.

Since 2017, successive governments have failed to reach a consensus on Haredi conscription after the Supreme Court invalidated a 2015 law exempting them from military service, citing it as a violation of the “principle of equality.”

While religious parties oppose the conscription of Haredi individuals, secular and nationalist parties support it, demanding that religious students share the “burden of war,” presenting a significant challenge to Netanyahu’s coalition.

Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox ‘Problem’ – A Threat to the Zionist Project?

Israel’s Chief Sephardic Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has threatened that the Haredim will leave the country if they are forced to serve in the army, Israeli media reported last month.

“If they force us to join the army, we would all fly out of the country, buy tickets, and go,” Channel 12 reported, quoting the chief rabbi of Sephardic Jews as saying.

“They have to understand this, all those secularists, they don’t get it,” the chief rabbi said, warning that “it puts the state at stake.”

The internal dissent over enlistment has caused the coalition government to be thrown into disarray.

(PC, Anadolu)

The post Supreme Court Mandate – Ultra-Orthodox Jews Must Serve in the Army appeared first on Palestine Chronicle.

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