Ministers vote for Tal Law extension

Law allowing haredis to postpone army service slammed as being discriminatory.

friedmann mazuz 298,88 (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
friedmann mazuz 298,88
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [file])
The Tal Law was extended by five years on Sunday after 21 ministers voted in favor of extending it. The law allows haredi men aged 22 to 27 who have deferred their draft by studying in yeshivas from the age of 18 to leave their studies for one year without automatically being drafted into the army. This is known as their "decision year," and the individual may spend the year any way he wants. Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann cast the only abstention. Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz said Friedmann's abstention would not stand in the way of the law being passed on to the Knesset plenum and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee. When the Tal Law was approved the first time in 2002 for a five-year trial period, haredi MKs requested that it would be extended automatically upon expiring. The request was denied in the plenum and the law was rediscussed in the cabinet. When the law is resubmitted to the plenum it could be approved in one reading. The cabinet meeting on Sunday included a discussion of the Ivri Committee recommendations on the Civil Guard and revealed that many articles in the Tal Law were never implemented.