Ultra-Orthodox students will have to join the army

Ultra-Orthodox students will have to join the army
Ultra-Orthodox students will have to join the army

The Israeli Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the conscription of ultra-Orthodox students in Talmudic schools, until now exempt, against a backdrop of debates in Parliament and within the government on the subject.

“The executive does not have the authority to order not to apply the law on military service to students of yeshiva (Talmudic schools) in the absence of an adequate legal framework,” ruled the Court. “Without anchoring this exemption in a legal framework, the State must act to impose the law,” she added in her decision.

This comes as the Israeli Parliament relaunched a bill on June 11 with a view to progressive conscription of the ultra-Orthodox, against a backdrop of war in the Gaza Strip.

Military service is compulsory in Israel, but ultra-Orthodox Jews can avoid it if they devote themselves to studying Judaism’s sacred texts, under an exemption established by David Ben-Gurion, the state’s founder. of Israel, in 1948.

Some critics believe that the text studied by Parliament, supported by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but criticized by Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, is far from meeting the manpower needs of the Israeli army. things, the non-execution of the law on military service creates great discrimination between those who are required to do so and those for whom measures are not taken to mobilize them within the army”, judged the Supreme Court Tuesday.

“At this moment, in the midst of a difficult war, the inequality of the burden is more marked than ever and requires the establishment of a lasting solution,” according to the Court.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, one of the plaintiffs before the Supreme Court, called on “the government and the defense minister to respect the decision” and “mobilize yeshiva students.”

The leader of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism (Ashkenazi) party, Yitzhak Goldknopf, criticized “an expected, very unfortunate and disappointing decision.”

“The State of Israel was founded to be the home of the Jewish people, for whom the Torah is the foundation. The holy Torah will be victorious,” he wrote on X.

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