'Suckers' encampment'
Photo: Moti Kimchi

Vote on Tal Law extension heads directly to Knesset

Cabinet defers vote on law meant to extend yeshiva students IDF exemption as activists erect 'suckers' encampment' against the legislation

The cabinet will not discuss the proposed amendment to the Tal Law, which regulates the IDF exemption given to yeshiva students, Ynet learned Thursday.


The bill will be discussed directly by the Knesset plenum ahead of the vote scheduled on its five-year extension. 


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Meanwhile, A protest encampment was erected in Tel Aviv on Thursday morning over the proposed extension.



Among the 'suckers' encampment' activists there is a widespread belief that extending the validity of the Tal Law is a cynical and politically motivated action. 


"The government is scheming," said Idan Miller, one of the men behind the encampment idea. "It (the government) is ostensibly shortening the law from five years to just one but that time period wasn't random – it's an election year."


לבני במאהל. "צדק חברתי מתחיל בשוויון בנטל" (צילום: מוטי קמחי) 

Tzipi Livni visits the 'suckers' encampment' (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


"This shameful situation where there are people who do not enlist and who do not share the burden must be stopped. We need to progress to a situation where everyone who turns 18 – secular, haredi or Arab – enlists to the IDF.


"If they can't, then there are enough places like hospitals which are desperate for manpower and help. National service can be done in these places thus, serving the community."


Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni visited the encampment on Thursday and said: "Social justice begins with taking an equal share in the burden and serving in the military, national or civil service is the way in which every citizen needs to contribute to the society in which they live – when that is not the case, then Zionism doesn't exist either."


The 'suckers' encampment' was erected near the Tel Aviv central railroad station by representatives from organizations including The Israeli Forum for Equal Service.


The activists include reservists, students, parents IDF bereaved families, IDF disabled veterans and high school students. Their intention is to remain in the encampment until Sunday when they plan to head to Jerusalem ahead of the cabinet's vote on the Tal Law extension.


המאהל ברכבת מרכז. "מלחמה של מי שמאמין בציונות" (צילום: מוטי קמחי)

At the encampment in Tel Aviv (Photo: Moti Kimchi)


The Tal Law allows yeshiva students over the age of 22 to take a year off their studies in order to obtain professional training or work experience without being drafted. After this year, they must commit to an abbreviated army service or a full year of national service or to return to full-time studies.


The law was passed by the Knesset in July 2002, and in 2007 was extended by an additional five years.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 01.26.12, 10:51
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