Some 200 high school students and social activists rallied outside the Tel Aviv Museum of Art Thursday evening in support of a High Court ruling against the Tal Law, which exempts yeshiva students from army service.
The demonstrators called on the government to promote legislation that would obligate yeshiva students to enlist and waved signs reading "Service for everyone," "Stop draft-dodging" and "Haredim to the IDF."
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Yotam Berger, who initiated the 'seniors' letter' - a petition calling on the country's leaders not to extend the Tal Law's validity – warned those on hand that the government may pass a similar law under a different name that would "sell us out to extremists who are trampling us."
'Sick and tired.' TA rally (Photo: Yaron Brener)
Another high school senior said "we are here to tell the government to pass a law that would (obligate everyone to enlist). We are not asking for change, we are demanding it. We are sick and tired of discrimination between blood and blood. We have sacrificed equality to the Torah."
A haredi man who happened to pass by told some of the demonstrators "you do not know the value of studying the Torah. I love you all and support you, but you do not understand us."
Knesset Member and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter (Kadima) also attended the rally. "The Tal Law did not offer a real solution for the problem, and a new, more challenging law is needed to (rectify the situation)," he told Ynet.
Addressing the High Court ruling against the Tal Law, fellow Kadima MK Nachman Shai said "the government thought it could continue deceiving, like past governments, but it has a great opportunity to amend the situation in such a way that everyone will serve in the army or take part in a national or civil program - Jews and Arabs alike."
Speaking to Ynet, Shai said the haredi factions "have become accustomed to being pampered. They (haredim) don't serve, don't work, and get paid – it's paradise. But this paradise is coming to an end."
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