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The Supreme Court holding a substantive discussion on the issue of Haredi recruitment

The supreme court. Wikipedia, israeltourism

This morning (Sunday), the High Court of Justice is holding a discussion of great importance for the future of Israeli society, which deals with one of the core issues on the agenda – the question of recruiting yeshiva students from the ultra-Orthodox sector to the IDF. This is one of the issues that created the political and social crisis of the recent years, and a question that intensified and worsened with the outbreak of war and the increase of the military and security burden on the Israeli population.

The previous enlistment law, which was called the ‘Tal Law’ and allowed the rejection of recruitment of yeshiva students, was disqualified in 2012, and in 2017 by the High Court of Justice because of inequality. Since then, the Israeli governments have been running on the last fumes, and have repeatedly extended the expiration of the law until the last time it expired in June 2023. The High Court granted the government a final extension to promote a new draft law, which expired last March, after the outbreak of the war. Upon this expiration, the High Court of Justice issued an interim order ordering the cessation of funding for draft deferees, threatening to dissolve the government. The government sought further extension to promote a new law before the interim order became absolute – but now the extension is over, and the government has not yet been able to introduce a new law due to public pressure, and some members of the government oppose various proposals, in parallel with Defense Minister Galant’s decision to promote a draft law only by consensus.

In the discussion, the state is represented by a private lawyer, Doron Taubman, with a few civil organizations on the other hand that have filed petitions on the subject, most notably the Movement for Quality in the Government. The hearing will be held in an expanded panel of nine judges, including President Uzi Fogelman, future presidents Amit, Solberg, Barak-Erez and Grosskopf, and four others. The government is expected to ask for additional extensions to complete the legislation, while the organizations will claim that legislation that will pass the High Court and the public’s test of equality will not be feasible. The ruling is expected to be given only a few days from now, and may have significant political and social consequences – the possibility of leaving the ultra-Orthodox parties the government on the one hand (which may even lead to elections), and the potential for social integration of the ultra-Orthodox population in the army and in ultra-Orthodox society on the other. Anyway, the hearing is being broadcasted in live stream, and is expected to be interesting.

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