Reserve soldiers prepare to deploy in Ashkelon 370.
(photo credit: marc israel sellem / the jerusalem post)
Anyone who enlisted in the IDF or did civilian service will get preferred
treatment in employment, higher education, buying land and other areas,
according to a bill by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu) that was
approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation Sunday.
important bill gives those who serve the appreciation they deserve,” Levin
“I am determined to promote this legislation until it becomes
Meanwhile, Israeli Arab advocacy groups accused the bill and the
government of racism.
According to Levin’s bill, those who served the
country can be preferred in hiring practices, receive higher salaries and get
better services without it being considered discrimination.
those who serve will be preferred in receiving dormitory rooms in universities
and in purchasing land, and there will be affirmative action for them to work in
civil service positions.
“The purpose of this bill is to ensure that
whoever contributes to the country will get the rights he deserves,” Levin wrote
in the bill’s explanatory portion.
The coalition chairman explained that
there is growing inequality in the burden of national service, and that there
are groups of people who intentionally avoid serving and “show disloyalty to the
country and a lack of commitment to defend its existence.”
At the same
time, Levin wrote, the State of Israel “sanctified the principle of absolute
equal rights,” preventing any preference of those who served the country and
sacrificed for it. In addition, there are laws that favor population groups that
do not serve.
“We have reached an absurd situation in which young people
who do not serve in the army enter institutes of higher education at age 18,
enjoy preference in dorms, and finish their degrees at age 21 and are even
preferred in getting jobs. At the same time, those who serve in the IDF or
national service reach university at later ages and without funds, have to rent
apartments because there is no room in the dormitories and then find themselves
discriminated against in finding civil service jobs,” Levin
According to Levin, his bill will bring “true, realistic
equality,” in that those who fill their obligations to society will get more
rights – a sentiment echoing a Yisrael Beytenu election campaign
The Mossawa Advocacy Center for Arab Citizens in Israel said “the
ministerial committee decided today that racism and discrimination go together
with the basic values of the State of Israel.”
According to the center,
the bill anchors in legislation racism that is prevalent in Israeli
The Abraham Fund Initiatives said that “instead of finding ways
to integrate Arab citizens into the workforce and civilian service in an
egalitarian way, the government made a decision that propagates their exclusion
and creates alienation in the way Arab citizens see the state.”