Protest against haredi exemption, last week
Photo: Gil Yohanan

Petition: Haredi exemption 'like dark regimes'

High Court asked to annul government decision to exempt yeshiva students aged 22 and up from military service. 'Decision tramples the Zionist majority,' petitioners claim

The Hiddush association for religious freedom and equality and the Israeli Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden petitioned the High Court of Justice on Wednesday against Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the government, demanding that the court annul the decision to exempt yeshiva students aged 22 and up from military service, which would allow them to integrate into national service.


The petition, filed by Attorney Yehoshua Shufman, claims that the decision was made in serious violation of all basic rules of administrative law, which regulate the legal way for making decisions.


"The decision is illegal, violates the Tal Law, a High Court ruling and the principle of equality, and should therefore be annulled," the petitioners said, requesting an interim order which would prevent the decision from taking effect on September 1.


According to the petitioners, the decision was discussed by the government along with more than 100 other proposals, including some dealing with increasing supervision on the shipping industry, prescriptions provided by pharmacists and prison systems.


The petitioners claimed that the ministers were not given sufficient information on the decision, relevant considerations were not discussed and the plan was presented as a marginal aspect of the budget discussions, without holding a separate discussion and vote on the matter.


'No public discourse'

The two organizations claimed that the decision contradicted a High Court ruling from 1997, according to which the defense minister has no authority to postpone the military service of all yeshiva students.


They added that the decision harmed the constitutional right for equality, saying that the Tal Law harms the equal share of the burden as it is, and that the new government decision worsens the damage caused.


"Only rarely does the government make a decision which is so illegal from so many aspects," Hiddush Director-General Rabbi Uri Regev told Ynet. "The government decision vulgarly tramples the Zionist majority which carries the burden, including most of this government's voters."


According to Miri Baron, chairwoman of the Forum for the Promotion of Equal Share in the Burden, "The cabinet decision, which was made in utmost discretion, without a public discourse and not in good faith, contradicts the values of democracy and is reminiscent of dark regimes."


The Movement for Quality of Government in Israel petitioned the decision last week, and the High Court is expected to combine both petitions into one discussion.



פרסום ראשון: 08.18.10, 11:14
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