IDF veteran benefit bill up for ministerial vote

Previous version of the bill vetoed by Justice Minister Livni after A-G declared it unconstitutional, discriminatory.

Nahal Battalion Golan Heights war drill 370 (photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)
Nahal Battalion Golan Heights war drill 370
(photo credit: IDF Spokesman’s Office)
A bill granting IDF veterans benefits in employment, higher education, buying land and other areas is to be brought to a vote in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday.
The proposal, submitted by coalition chairman Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), was vetoed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni earlier this year, on grounds that it is discriminatory, but Levin wrote a new version with Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon in order to court broader support in the coalition.
According to the legislation, those who served may receive preference in hiring, ordering and receiving services, acceptance to college dormitories and buying land.
The bill also applies to those who did civilian services and those who asked to serve in the IDF but were rejected.
“The proposal is the first step toward reaching real equality in the burden and giving these benefits to those who contributed their time, effort and strength to the country,” Levin explained.
The coalition chairman called on ministers to vote in favor of his bill, adding that he is “determined to continue promoting this legislation until it becomes law.”
Livni vetoed the earlier version of the bill after Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein declared it unconstitutional, discriminatory and against the principles of equality.
However, Yinon explained in a letter he sent to Livni that the new version of the bill is more specific and therefore less discriminatory.
They would only apply for seven years after finishing service, or to someone who did over 14 days of reserve duty in the previous year. In addition, preference of soldiers would only apply in cases when it does not go against existing laws prohibiting discrimination.
When land is being sold, the person selling it may prefer someone who served, but is not required to do so.