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Israeli Law Changes, Affecting Ultra-Orthodox Boys

During earlier election campaigns in Israel, there were promises to change the laws regarding ultra Orthodox Jews not being drafted for military duty.  This past Wednesday, an Israeli government committee approved a proposal to phase out military service exemptions for ultra Orthodox men.

Most men as well as women are required to serve at age 18. Because of the exemptions, this became an issue over the past few years of which many protests were held throughout the land of Israel. Many saw it as “disproportionate political influence of the ultra-Orthodox and the benefits they had managed to secure for themselves,” according to the New York Times.

The current law, in effect since 2002, granted exemptions to tens of thousands of male students who studied Torah full time. The Supreme Court ruled that this law contradicted the principle of equality. Only boys will be required to register for military recruitment.

This issue was a hot debate in the election campaigns.