IDF soldier Golan 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Combat soldiers with a criminal past will be given a “second chance,” according
to a bill approved by the Knesset plenum on Wednesday.
initiated by MK Orly Levy-Abecassis (Likud Beytenu), who is the chairwoman of
the Committee on the Rights of the Child, would allow at-risk youth who
underwent rehabilitation during their military service and were recruited into
combat positions to have their criminal record wiped
Levy-Abecassis explained that when these soldiers complete their
military service and go into the workforce, they encounter difficulties in terms
of finding jobs.
Their past “stain,” she said, prevents them from working
as security personnel or in any other position that would require carrying a
gun, jobs that many combat soldiers seek after the army.
said the proposed law will “end the paradox and injustice toward people who
served as fighters and carried weapons and who after their service cannot work
with one, even though they are called up for reserve duty and use arms at that
“The bill sends a message to those at-risk youth that their
future is not doomed and that society will not impose on them an everlasting
‘mark of Cain’ for what they did when they were kids from difficult
socioeconomic backgrounds,” she added. “It gives them hope that whoever really
wants to change the course of his life can be given a second chance to do
The idea for the draft law came after Levy-Abecassis received an
appeal from a combat soldier and former atrisk teenager who had been denied a
permit to carry a civilian weapon due to his criminal record.
argued that he had turned his life around, served as a paratrooper and even
volunteered in an NGO helping at-risk youth.
He was killed in a car
accident shortly after, and received a posthumous pardon from President Shimon