(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Draft-dodgers will have to pay more for higher education, according to a bill by MK Yoni Chetboun (Bayit Yehudi) approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.
The government currently subsidizes about 66 percent of all university tuition. Chetboun proposed that it not do so for anyone who evaded being drafted to the IDF.
Only Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Health Minister Yael German opposed the initiative, which is backed by opposition and coalition MKs, in the ministerial committee.
The Bayit Yehudi MK's bill applies only to those the IDF sought to enlist, did not report for service and are considered draft-dodgers. It does not apply to haredim, Arabs or anyone else who is legally exempt or excused from military service. Nor does it cancel the full tuition subsidy young new immigrants receive.
"It cannot be that someone who evades contributing to the country still enjoys its subsidies," Chetboun said. "While our best sons and daughters carry the national burden and risk their lives for the country, the draft-dodgers are aided by the state's coffers."
According to Chetboun, there are thousands of draft evaders, many of whom go straight to academic studies instead of army service.
Chetboun expressed hope that "this bill will bring an end to the anarchic situation. We have a moral responsibility to stop this farce. Draft-dodgers cannot be rewarded by the government. Law-breakers must be denounced."