Israeli court annuls law exempting religious from military

Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting Monday

Senior Adviser Jared Kushner listens at left as President Donald Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting Monday

Tuesday's ruling by Israel's High Court of Justice that the current system of draft exemptions for students studying in religious seminaries is illegal strikes deep into the nation's social fabric as well as its political premises.

A panel of nine justices ruled that parts of the conscription law that exempt seminary students from service were "unreasonable and unconstitutional", Reuters reported.

The legislation was an amendment to the Equal Service Law, which superseded and weakened a law supported by Yesh Atid that would have required more Charedi men to do their mandatory military service.

The court gave the government one year to rework the draft for CCharedi men.

Today (Tuesday), the Israeli Supreme Court accepted the appeal against the amendment to the Recruitment Law for Ultra-Orthodox Jews and ordered to cancel it within a year.

The law's stated objective of reducing the inequality of the burden of military service was not achieved, the justices said. "This is why we have come to politics".

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri of the ultra-Orthodox Shas party accused the Supreme Court of being disconnected from the Jewish people, adding that the decision was "completely detached from our heritage and tradition and from the people". The court did not rule and waited to see whether the state would modify aspects of the law, which it had watered down to please haredi parties on the coalition, but which the court and the petitioners had criticized.

The decision prompted an angry response from Ultra-Orthodox parliamentarians, who exert considerable influence as a key partner in Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition. "Military conscription is for everybody, not only for the suckers who don't have a party in his coalition".

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