Court stops funding to Haredis not serving in IDF

Prime minister consults with ultra-Orthodox coalition partners after ruling to prevent coalition crisis if they chose to resign; Shas leader says he can understand those who refuse to serve in the military of a country that fights against the Yeshiva world
Tova Zimuky|
Israel's high court on Thursday issued a temporary order to the government to stop funding ultra-Orthodox Yeshiva students as of Monday, until a new bill is passed formalizing their service or exemption from service in the IDF.
The ultra-Orthodox, Israel's fastest-growing religious minority, have a waiver from conscription designed to keep their men in Yeshivas. The Supreme Court scrapped this in 2018 in the name of equality. Parliament failed to come up with a new arrangement, and a government-issued stay on mandatory conscription of the ultra-Orthodox expires on Sunday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the court for an extension of 30 days to come up with a bill that would satisfy both his Attorny General and his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners but was unable to prevent the order. AG Gali Baharav-Miara, wrote in a submission to the court that she saw no legal basis for deferring the ultra-Orthodox conscriptions further.
2 View gallery
בנימין נתניהו, ישיבה תלמידי ישיבות חרדים אברכים
בנימין נתניהו, ישיבה תלמידי ישיבות חרדים אברכים
Haredi men in a Yeshiva, Benjamin Netanyahu
(Photo: Shaul Golan, Amit Shabi)
Netanyahu is holding consultations with his Haredi coalition partners. The ruling puts Netanyahu's coalition at risk after some of his ultra-Orthodox partners said they would leave the government if the funding is stopped. Allies of the prime minister said the chances of the Haredi parties' resignation are small because "they have nowhere to go."
Shas leader and close Netanyahu ally Aryeh Deri said in response to the ruling that he can understand people who refuse to serve the in the military of a country that is fighting against the Yeshiva world. He slammed the court's decision and vowed to continue to fight for the right of Yeshiva students to study the Torah.
Earlier this month, Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef threatened that Haredim would leave Israel en masse if their exemption from the country's compulsory service was not renewed, sparking calls from critics for his resignation. On Thursday, Netanyahu's education minister announced Yosef would be awarded the Israel prize.
2 View gallery
הרב יצחק יוסף
הרב יצחק יוסף
Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef
(Photo: Alex Kolomoisky )
The exemption of Haredi students from compulsory military service was initially granted to 400 exceptional students in the early days of the state, after so many of the religious institutions in Europe were exterminated in the Holocaust. That number has now reached 14,000 exemptions.
In addition to Haredi men not taking part in the military service, many have also stayed out of the job market so as to preserve their exemptions and the stipends that come with it, while economists have warned for years that Israel cannot sustain economic growth and stability if such a large sector of its citizens do not participate in the job market.
Netanyahu is facing criticism from the opposition and even from within his coalition for ignoring the needs of the military that is extending the compulsory service for secular and non-Orthodox Israelis as well as reserve troops to meet the demands of the growing security challenges. According to the IDF, there is already a shortage of some 7,000 troops.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.