High Court President Maor: The New Recruitment Arrangement Harms Equality


The High Court of Justice decided to accept the petition filed by the Yesh Atid party and headed by MK Yair Lapid. It was Lapid’s party which spearheaded the entire ‘share the burden’ campaign – to get all eligible Israelis to serve, including chareidim. He accomplished this in the previous Knesset, but today, as his party serves in opposition, the chareidim have succeeded in turning around most of that legislation. However, the High Court has once again created a new reality, albeit one that is most unwanted by the chareidim.

Supreme Court justices decided to accept the petition and disqualify the amendment to the draft law that the chareidi parties passed on to the current government, meaning that within a year the government will have to pass a new law the court’s ruling is not immediate, but will take effect in a year.

“The new recruitment arrangement harms equality,” the panel of High Court justices decided; including President Miriam Naor who stated: “The constant social debate on the subject of the service of yeshiva students touches upon the sensitive nerve endings of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state and is on the verge of boiling over. The court over the years has displayed patience and restraint when it was required to decide on petitions concerning the recruitment of talmidei yeshivos.”

Naor summed up the decision and stated: “We must therefore return the matter to the Knesset, and at this stage, after decades of trial and error, it is clear that it is no longer possible to make do with non-binding and non-enforceable arrangements whose end is unknown. Any arrangement that the legislator will determine on this issue must set a clear goal of promoting equality in the burden of enlistment and to outline a clear and achievable path.”

“Israeli society is therefore in the midst of a renewed social effort to solve the problem of recruitment, which is not enough for slogans or the establishment of arrangements that postpone the end. We need real action!”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)