Israel's Knesset reconsiders bill to conscript ultra-Orthodox men into military

Israel's parliament voted on Tuesday to approve a bill allowing ultra-Orthodox men to serve in the military, an issue that has become particularly contentious since the Gaza war broke out last October.

The 63-57 vote was a procedural step designed to put the hot-button issue in the hands of lawmakers rather than judges. This exemption should not have been in effect since the founding of Israel.

Many secular Israelis have long lamented the exemption of the most religious members of society from the draft. The issue has again come to the fore since the Oct. 7 Hamas-led attack on Israel sparked the war and led to repeated call-ups of Israeli reserve soldiers.

The bill revisits a proposal introduced in 2022 that would, among other things, limit exemptions for young ultra-Orthodox men attending religious studies, set recruitment quotas for them and offer alternative service options. However, some critics argue that the proposal would not significantly increase the number of ultra-Orthodox, known as Haredim in Hebrew, serving in the military.

The bill was introduced by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in May in an apparent effort to prevent Israel’s Supreme Court from taking the lead on the issue. The judges are currently considering whether the government must start drafting the ultra-Orthodox law immediately because it was temporarily extended last year but has now expired again.

Tuesday's vote was widely seen as intended to signal to the court that the Knesset is addressing the issue, which the courts have long ordered the government to address but years of legislative efforts have failed to bring meaningful change.

এছাড়াও পড়ুন  ঘুর মুসলিমদের ৬৩০ নাম পরিচয় দিলো চীন

Some members of Netanyahu's Likud party said they would Support the reinstatement of the bill to speed up the legislative process, but they promised to demand changes before the legislative process moves forward.

Israel’s Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara has urged an immediate draft of the country’s ultra-Orthodox Jews, arguing that the government’s inability to pass new legislation does not excuse its failure to begin drafting Haredim Jews after a previous exemption law expired.

The controversy is Rooted in decision making The decision came in the years around Israel's founding, when the country's secular leadership promised the ultra-Orthodox minority autonomy and privileges in exchange for their support for a secular state. In addition to being exempt from conscription, the Haredi community was allowed to run its own education system.

When the Haredim were relatively small, their privileges were not important to mainstream Israeli society. But they are Israel’s fastest-growing demographic, now numbering more than 1 million, or about 13 percent of the population, up from 40,000, or 5 percent, in 1948. They are expected to make up about 10 percent of the total. National 16% By 2030.

If the Supreme Court can convince Netanyahu's government that it is making a serious effort to resolve the issue, the justices may give parliament time to pass a law. Otherwise, the court may decide to act immediately, which could spell a crisis for Netanyahu, whose coalition relies on ultra-Orthodox support.

উৎস লিঙ্ক