BREAKING: Israel’s Supreme Court Finds Military Exemptions Unconstitutional
Today by a 6-3 vote, the Israeli Supreme Court overturned the Tal Law, which allows full-time yeshiva students to delay or completely avoid the otherwise-mandatory military conscription. The law, which was passed by the Knesset in 2002 and reauthorized in 2007, has allowed more than 70,000 ultra-Orthodox men to avoid serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. The exemption had further exacerbated the tension between the ultra-Orthodox (making up about 10% of the Israeli population) and the secular population.
The Court’s decision was, in part, based on the fact that the initial law had called for the government to find ways to encourage ultra-Orthodox to join the military, but the government had failed to follow through.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak reportedly welcomed the decision, saying that he hoped a more fair provision would be instituted in its place.
Keep checking RACblog for updates on this decision and its impact.
Photo courtesy of Gali Tibbon/AFP/Getty Images