Israeli Cabinet advances proposal to draft haredi Orthodox men

Israel’s Cabinet approved a bill proposal to draft thousands of haredi Orthodox men into the Israel Defense Forces.

The Cabinet passed the proposal for reforms to Israel’s military conscription law in a 14-4 vote at its weekly meeting July 7. The proposal moves for discussion to the Ministerial Committee for Legislation before going to the Knesset floor.

The four votes against the “sharing of the burden” bill to integrate the haredi Orthodox into the military and, by extension, into Israeli society, came from members of the nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Under the proposal, some 1,800 yeshiva students would be exempt from the military draft and the haredi men could study in yeshiva until age 21 before being drafted.

Conscription or a national service requirement for Israeli Arabs was not included in the bill proposal.

A four-year “adjustment period” would allow haredi yeshiva students to come into compliance. — jta