Gov't requests third extension from High Court for haredi enlistment law

The High Court struck down the previous arrangement allowing for blanket military service exemptions for haredi men in September 2017 as discriminatory against the non-haredi Jewish population.

January 14, 2019 13:13
2 minute read.
Haredi anti-draft protest in Lower Mahnattan, June 9, 2013.

Haredi anti draft protest NYC. (photo credit: JTA)


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 analysis 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


The government has requested yet another extension from the High Court of Justice to pass a law for haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment to the military, after the latest deadline, Tuesday, will be missed after the Knesset was dispersed and elections called.

The High Court struck down the previous arrangement allowing for blanket military service exemptions for haredi men in September 2017 as discriminatory against the non-haredi Jewish population, and gave the government 12 months to pass a new law, which would increase the rate of haredi enlistment.

The bill – drafted by the Defense Ministry at the request of former defense minister Avigdor Liberman – was passed in its first reading, but haredi objections to the proposal led to delays in the passage of the legislation, and the government needed to secure two extensions – one for December and one for January – which will both be missed.

It is probable that the High Court will approve the extension request since refusing to do so would mean that all haredi men of military age would automatically be obligated to enlist, which would lead to serious social unrest in the haredi community.

It would also generate mass contempt for the rule of law – since many haredi men would refuse to enlist – and it would physically impossible, not to mention undesirable, to incarcerate so many people. The IDF could also not absorb the tens of thousands of men who would be required to serve.

Liberman said in response to the extension request that it demonstrated Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s desire to pass a “non-enlistment law” drafted by the haredi parties instead of the bill proposed by the defense ministry which he had advocated for.

“Even during the election period, there is no hindrance to pass the law, which got the blessing of the army and was approved [in its first reading] by the Knesset,” Liberman. “Everything is evasions, spin and capitulation to the haredim.”

Yisrael Beytenu will file a petition to the High Court of Justice to prevent the extension.

MK Oded Forer said that the haredi enlistment bill brought to the Knesset by the Defense Ministry “is the law that must be passed” and added that “any attempt by the government to postpone the decision on this issue scorns and ridicules the defense establishment and the citizens of Israel serving in the IDF.”

Jerusalem Post staff contributed to this article.

Related Content

Haim Bibas
June 19, 2019
Haim Bibas: Build more shelters in North


Cookie Settings