Bill proposes IDF-exempt males do nat'l service

MK Moshe Matalon proposes bill that is signed by Israel Beiteinu faction members and MK Uri Ariel; will be brought to a vote by Ministerial Committee.

MK Moshe Matalon 311 (photo credit: Courtesy of Knesset)
MK Moshe Matalon 311
(photo credit: Courtesy of Knesset)
A new bill requiring all citizens exempt from mandatory military service to instead do national or civilian service, which is currently voluntary, will be brought to a vote by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday.
The bill, proposed by MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Beiteinu) and signed by Israel Beiteinu faction members and MK Uri Ariel (National Union), applies only to males, and would require anyone who is not serving in the IDF for reasons other than physical unfitness to do non-military service for 24 months.
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Matalon referred to “disconcerting enlistment rates that indicate that in the not-very- distant future only half of 18-year-olds will join the IDF and take part in this task.”
The Ministerial Committee on Legislation, which determines the government’s position on bills, is unlikely to vote in favor of the bill, as it will certainly face fierce opposition from coalition member parties Shas and United Torah Judaism.
By 2020, 60 percent of Israelis will not be serving in the military, the head of the IDF Manpower Directorate, Maj.-Gen. Orna Barbivai, said last Thursday.
According to the bill’s text, “it cannot be that some 18- year-old men... serve the country and defend it, while others do not serve and do not contribute.
“Those who are exempt [from army service] should not be exempt from an alternative contribution, such as national or civilian service in public institutions in need of help,” the bill reads.
In the bill’s explanatory section, the MKs write that their initiative follows a similar suggestion from the IDF chief of staff. In the past, Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilna’i proposed a similar bill, as did MKs Yoel Hasson (Kadima) and MK Eitan Cabel (Labor) during the current Knesset.