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Elham AbolFateh

Middle East

Israeli High Court moves to increase Haredi conscription into IDF

Tuesday 12/September/2017 - 09:50 PM
Sada El Balad
Edited by Ahmed Moamar
In landslide ruling، 8 out of 9 judges order government to revise adjustment made two years ago to Conscription Law at the behest of ultra-Orthodox parties which drastically increased the number of temporary draft exemptions to Haredim; 'The law was unconstitutional، disproportionate، and harms equality،' judges rule، as Ynet said.
The High Court of Justice (HCJ) made a majority ruling Tuesday canceling an amendment ratified by the Knesset almost two years ago to the Conscription Law which lowered the annual quota on the number of Haredim required to draft into the IDF.
The original amendment to the Conscription Law، which was spearheaded by Yesh Atid Leader Yair Lapid when his party was part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s previous coalition، constituted a major breakthrough in bringing Haredim into the military by setting an annual quota for Haredi conscripts، setting in motion a remedy to an issue that has long been a point of contention in Israel.
With Lapid's amendment، Haredi men of military age were permitted to delay their service on the proviso that the annual quota of ultra-Orthodox conscripts was met. 
However، with the formulation of Netanyahu’s new right-wing coalition in 2015 largely dependent on ultra-Orthodox parties، which also saw the removal of Lapid’s party، an adjustment was immediately made to the law، reducing the quota of Haredi conscripts. With the court’s ruling that the adjustment was unconstitutional however، which gained the backing of 8 out of 9 judges، the government will now be required to increase the quota of Haredi conscripts within one year.
Eight of the judges also added that the law was “disproportionate” while the sole dissenting judge، Noam Solberg، advocated rejecting the petitions seeking a revision to the adjustment، reasoning that the time had not yet come to determine whether it was unconstitutional.

“We are compelled to return the matter back to the Knesset،” concluded Supreme Court Chief Justice Miriam Naor. “At this stage، and after years of trial and error، it is clear that it is no longer enough to make do with non-binding and non-enforceable arrangements whose outcome is unknown."

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