Netanyahu opposes ultra-Orthodox exemption from military service – Middle East Monitor

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that he does not intend at this time to introduce a bill that would grant ultra-Orthodox Jews exemption from service in the Israeli army, the Hebrew news website Walla has reported.

Speaking to Haredi leaders, Netanyahu added that he does not think it is currently possible to bring such legislation to a vote in the Knesset. “I have no desire to engage in new public controversies at this point,” the Israeli prime minister added.

Warnings have been issued about potential mass protests against such an exemption for Haredi Jews. According to Haaretz commentator Amos Harel, “[Netanyahu] still seems determined to keep dissent and the protest movement alive.” He described any such draft law as a “Haredi Draft-Dodging Law” and said that the prime minister is under pressure from ultra-Orthodox parties in the occupation state.

He noted that the far-right and ultra-Orthodox parties that are in his coalition government “each came with a far-reaching set of demands, unacceptable to large parts of the Israeli public and possibly troubling to many Likud voters.” Having a law granting exemption to Haredi Jews, added Harel, “will perpetuate existing inequality in carrying the burden of military service [and] drag the judicial overhaul legislation back to the centre of public discourse.”

READ: Israel justice minister accuses US of supporting anti-judicial overhaul protests

Source link