To give additional time to discuss modifications to how haredi males are conscripted, the Israeli government is anticipated to petition the High Court of Justice for a five-month extension of the court-mandated deadline for implementing a new conscription law.
According to rumors on Monday, the administration of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will request a postponement from July 31 until December to work out a revised version of the bill.
Although Shas and one of the two factions in the United Torah Judaism political alliance are thought to have given up on this demand, the two haredi parties in the coalition had previously insisted that the conscription bill be passed before the state budget is passed (the deadline for that is May 29).
The draft legislation would lower the age at which haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, Jewish men must request military service deferments and significantly boost combat soldiers’ pay.
Additionally, the initiative would shorten the time soldiers in jobs deemed not as crucial would need to serve.
Israelis who practice extreme Orthodoxy have long been exempted almost entirely from mandatory military duty; nevertheless, the Supreme Court overturned this law in 2012. Additionally, the court struck down a new direction in 2017.
Since then, the court has granted defense ministers more than a dozen extensions due to the government’s inability to implement legislation.
IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi weighed in on the discussion last month, stating that there is “no substitute” for the “people’s army” model employed by the Jewish state, according to which all Israelis are expected to serve in some capacity, with the majority being conscripted into the military.
Most haredi men continue to be excused from military duty until they reach the age limit of 26, even though Israelis are often drafted into the military at 18.
They stay in yeshivas until then to accomplish this. The government wants to encourage haredim to start working earlier, lowering the age requirement to 23.
“For 75 years, the people’s army model has demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is no substitute for it. This is the IDF’s secret to strength, and it’s the nation’s secret as well, Halevi remarked.
At a Monday Yesh Atid Party faction meeting in the Knesset, opposition leader Yair Lapid said, “This is an open wound. “It cannot be that we send our kids off to serve the state and put their lives in danger, and then you say, ‘This doesn’t interest us, we have political power, we will use it to release our kids from military service and at the same time raise stipends [for yeshiva students,'” Lapid said.
Lapid referred to a Yesh Atid measure that would advance the cause of universal enlistment.