(JNS.org) A bill requiring eligible ultra-Orthodox men to report for military
duty or civilian service in Israel was approved in a 14-4 vote by the Israeli
cabinet on Sunday.
The bill, proposed by a committee headed by Israeli
Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, states that starting in 2017, all
eligible haredi men over the age of 18 will be expected to report at the Israel
Defense Forces (IDF) induction centers for enlistment, excluding 1,800 students
who will be granted exemptions. The proposal allows for a three-year deferment
of service, after which each individual will have to decide whether they wish
to serve in the IDF or a civilian program.
“After 65 years, we are righting the wrong of inequality in sharing the
burden,” Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said Sunday, Israel Hayom reported. “It is for the good of the haredi community
and for the good of Israeli society. There will be true equality after this
cabinet meeting. This is a historic day.”
Israeli Arabs were excluded from the proposed bill’s requirements.
“I attach a great deal of importance to involving [haredim] and Israel’s
Arab citizens in sharing the national burden, and the current proposal does
address the issue, but I feel that it isn’t complete yet,” Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. “We will have to continue dealing with the