IDF hopes bill will increase reservists’ benefits

Also under consideration is a discount on land bought from the Israel Lands Administration.

July 21, 2010 02:16
1 minute read.
IDF reservists

IDF reservists 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The IDF is working to push through legislation in the Knesset that would increase benefits for Israelis who perform reserve service, including reductions in income and property taxes, and preferred treatment when competing for jobs in the public sector.

Also under consideration is a discount on land bought from the Israel Lands Administration.

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The list of proposed benefits was compiled in recent months by IDF Chief Reserve Officer Brig.-Gen. Yishayahu Ben-Anat and recently presented to Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i, who is drafting the necessary legislation.

Following the Second Lebanon War in 2006, the Defense Ministry pushed for legislation that regulates the number of days a reservist is allowed to serve in a year. In addition, reservists who serve a certain number of days a year receive grants that can amount to several thousand shekels.

“There is compensation, but the problem is that reservists do not feel they’re appreciated for what they do,” a senior IDF officer said on Tuesday. “Appreciation is something that can be created by granting the reservists a boosted social status, which they deserve. Reservists today say that when the government calls me, I come, but when the government says it will do something, it does not follow through. We cannot take what they do for granted.”

On Wednesday, the Association for the Wellbeing of Israeli Soldiers (AWIS) – better known under the name of its overseas branch, Friends of the Israel Defense Forces – will hold an event in Tel Aviv to honor the IDF’s latest draftees. The army kicked off its summer draft on Sunday.

Next Monday, Chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi will host Israeli business leaders at the Kirya military headquarters in Tel Aviv for an event called “Adopt a Soldier,” under which private-sector companies and Diaspora donors financially support IDF units.

Close to 150 units have already been adopted by donors that commit to an annual contribution to the unit of NIS 100,000 for three years.

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