Coalition, opposition work together on bill to keep lone soldiers in Israel

The proposal is a response to a situation in which many lone have trouble beginning their adult lives in Israel when they finish their service.

By
November 24, 2016 16:15
2 minute read.
Soldiers

SOLDIERS SIT for a shared meal during training. IDF regulations are supposed to favor lone soldiers in giving them extra time to complete errands outside the army, but some say that this is not being honored.. (photo credit: LONE SOLDIER CENTER IN MEMORY OF MICHAEL LEVIN)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

A bill that seeks to keep lone soldiers in Israel by providing a monthly grant to them after ending their IDF service will go to a ministerial committee for a vote on Sunday.

The effort crossed coalition and opposition lines, with MKs Itzik Shmuly (Zionist Union) and Yulia Malinovsky (Zionist Union) having the support of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


The bill would give each lone soldier NIS 1,000 per month for one year after finishing military service.

The annual cost to the government is estimated at NIS 12 million, and would be in addition to grants already received upon discharge from the IDF.

During their service, lone soldiers receive a monthly aid package equivalent to NIS 3,500 for combat soldiers, and NIS 2,600 for those in noncombat positions. The total includes short-term assistance in the form of rent subsidies, food coupons and exemptions from municipal taxes and electricity bills.

Some 75% to 80% of lone soldiers come to Israel without their parents. The rest have families in the country who are unable to support them financially.

The proposal is a response to the difficulties faced by many lone soldiers in beginning their adult lives in Israel after completing their service.



Some 6,000 lone soldiers serve in the IDF at any one time.

At a meeting of the Caucus for Lone Soldiers chaired by Shmuly earlier this year, several lone immigrant soldiers told MKs that many among their group who left the country did so for socioeconomic reasons.

A report by the Knesset’s Research and Information Center found that half of lone immigrant chose to leave Israel immediately after their service. Of the half that chose to stay, another third left a short time later.

Malinovsky said she has received many complaints from lone soldiers who have trouble earning a living.

“These soldiers enlisted in the army and served the country, even though most of them didn’t have to,” she said. “We have a moral responsibility as a society and a state to take care of lone soldiers who served in the IDF and want to live here.

These are good, loyal citizens and we must be grateful that they chose to serve and contribute to the state.”

Shmuly said it will be a great achievement if the bill passes.

“I’m happy that after a long effort we are successfully changing the way the state sees [lone soldiers] and no longer takes away their support.

There is an understanding that [the state] must help them integrate in society,” he said.

Related Content

Ron Huldai
August 14, 2018
Poll: Huldai will handily beat any other Tel Aviv mayoral candidate

By TAMARA ZIEVE