Yisrael Beytenu fired the opening shot for the Knesset’s summer session,
submitting the first of many “Tal Law” alternatives expected in the coming
The Tal Law – declared illegal by the High Court of Justice in
February – provided the legal framework for ultra-Orthodox men to defer IDF
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for all
MKs who believe in equality in the national burden, whether they are in the
opposition or coalition, to vote for his party’s bill on May 9.
wrote on his Facebook wall that he hopes by next year, the soldiers given awards
on Independence Day will originate from all sectors – secular, haredi, Druse,
Arab and Bedouin.
He also called on legislators from across the political
spectrum to support the proposed bill.
“All groups, organizations and
people involved in this issue should contact all MKs from Likud, Labor, Kadima,
Independence, National Union, Habayit Hayehudi and Meretz and demand they
support our proposal,” Liberman added. “No gimmicks, no excuses. Whoever
wants everyone to serve in the army should just come and vote.”
estimated 60,000 men of army service age receive exemptions as full-time yeshiva
students through the Tal Law.
Calling military service an “existential
necessity,” Yisrael Beytenu’s alternative to the Tal Law would require almost
all 18-year-olds, regardless of faith or religious observance, to enlist in
either the IDF or fulfill national service.
The bill – written by MK
David Rotem (Yisrael Beytenu), chairman of the Knesset constitution, law and
justice committee chairman – quotes Maimonides, who said that those who do not
work for a living are desecrating God’s name, and that it is forbidden to
receive payment for learning Torah.
Up to 1,000 yeshiva students be able
to receive an exemption from military service, in order to encourage those with
exceptional talents. The same amount of excellent university students, athletes
and artists may receive an exemption, as well.
Anyone who serves in
national or civilian service will receive full rights and benefits, equal to
those who served in the IDF, the bill states. Civilian service will be
administrated through the Prime Minister’s Office and under his direct
Those who do not serve the state may not receive any grants
or payments from the government, “in order to prevent those who dodge service
from relying on funding from the government, so they will have to earn a
living,” according to the legislation’s subtext.
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