Photo: Efi Shrir
Photo: Efi Shrir

New bill eyes tougher criteria for religious exemption from IDF

MK Israel Hasson proposes that women who claim religious lifestyle as way of avoiding military service be made to provide concrete proof

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation is set to debate a new law that may rattle the coalition: MK Israel Hasson (Kadima) has presented the committee with a bill that seeks to apply significantly harsher criteria for religious exemption from military service for women.


The Knesset will hold its preliminary vote on the bill on Wednesday.


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Today, a women who wishes to be exempt from military service on a religious basis needs only to declare that she observes kosher and Shabbat laws.


Hasson's legislation aims to toughen that criteria and mandate that such statements be backed by certificates proving that the women attended a sanctioned religious institution for at least two years.


Hasson has already said that he would seek a disclosed vote. i.e. – by name, in order to know which of the Coalition members opposes the bill.


אילוסטרציה. שוויון בנטל (צילום: חיים צח)

Equal rights, equal burden (Illustration: Haim Tzach)


The committee's hearing on the matter comes two weeks after Head of the IDF Personnel Directorate Major-General Orna Barbivai presented the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee with disconcerting data about the number of women who claim to be religious to avoid military service.


Similar bill were presented to the House in the past, but were voted down, mostly due to pressure by the religious parties.


The bill might rattle the coalition, as the religious parties claim that the government and the Knesset are not doing enough to stop what they call "haredi bashing," which the say has escalated following the controversy surrounding radical religious elements' demand to exclude women from the public sphere in Israel.



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פרסום ראשון: 12.29.11, 18:30
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