MK Moshe Matalon 311.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Knesset)
A new bill requiring all citizens exempt from mandatory military service to
instead do national or civilian service, which is currently voluntary, will be
brought to a vote by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on
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The bill, proposed by MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) and
signed by Israel Beiteinu faction members and MK Uri Ariel (National Union),
applies only to males, and would require anyone who is not serving in the IDF
for reasons other than physical unfitness to do non-military service for 24
“The government must require all citizens to equally share the
missions we are given,” Matalon said. “It is unreasonable that only a small part
of Israel’s population will carry the entire state’s burden on its
Matalon referred to “disconcerting enlistment rates that
indicate that in the not-very- distant future only half of 18-year-olds will join
the IDF and take part in this task.”
The Ministerial Committee on
Legislation, which determines the government’s position on bills, is unlikely to
vote in favor of the bill, as it will certainly face fierce opposition from
coalition member parties Shas and United Torah Judaism.
By 2020, 60
percent of Israelis will not be serving in the military, the head of the IDF
Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, said last
According to the bill’s text, “it cannot be that some 18-
year-old men... serve the country and defend it, while others do not serve and
do not contribute.
“Those who are exempt [from army service] should not
be exempt from an alternative contribution, such as national or civilian service
in public institutions in need of help,” the bill reads.
In the bill’s
explanatory section, the MKs write that their initiative follows a similar
suggestion from the IDF chief of staff. In the past, Home Front Defense Minister
Matan Vilna’i proposed a similar bill, as did MKs Yoel Hasson (Kadima) and MK
Eitan Cabel (Labor) during the current Knesset.