Despite Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s efforts to prolong sanctions against bnei yeshivos until a new chareidi draft law is in place, the Supreme Court on Tuesday, 4 Adar I 5774 had different ideas.
The court prohibited funding for mosdos whose talmidim have been in defiance of the draft, referring to avreichim born in 1994, 1995 and the first half of 1996. This refers to those who received draft notices compelling them to serve beginning in August 2013. Their induction into the IDF was pushed off by Ya’alon, but the court is not permitting the state to continue funding them despite the fact they are not serving in the military at this time. Repeated petitions by Hiddush and other organizations to the court stipulate that with the disqualification of the Tal Law, the state lacks a legal framework to fund yeshivos when the talmidim and avreichim should be entering the military.
The state was also ordered to report back to the Supreme Court by March 31st on progress in the drafting of chareidim. Court President Justice Asher Grunis stated that if a law is not passed by that time, the court will consider its required actions.
Eight of the nine justices were in agreement, with Justice Nir Handel voicing the dissenting opinion.
Some Responses to the Court’s Ruling:
MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Rabbi Meir Porush:
The decision is laughable as the Supreme Court is the last body that can comment on procrastinating and delay in handing down verdicts. The court has been known as the enemy of the chareidi tzibur by its discriminatory rulings.
MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Rabbi Moshe Gafni:
The cessation of funding represents a serious step and a declaration of war against the chareidi public. We will respond with war. The court is accustomed to bullying.
MK (Yesh Atid) Rabbi Dov Lipman:
The continuation of the current status quo is impossible and legislation must be submitted to Knesset urgently bring result in chareidi enlistment into the IDF. The legislation begun by the Peri Committee must be completed.
Housing Minister (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel:
The Supreme Court’s decision is inappropriate and violates an entire population and the delicate fabric that exists between various communities in Israel. It would have been appropriate for the court to hold off and wait until the Shaked Committee completes the new legislation that would regulate all matters, including funding yeshivos instead of rendering a decision that will cause more controversy among the people.
The Hiddush Organization (Which petitioned the court):
The High Court clarified to the Knesset that even its infinite patience has a limit and the court will not permit the flow of hundreds of millions of shekels against the law. Since the cancellation of the Tal Law 18 months ago the state has been violating the law by not recruiting the yeshiva students. It adds insult to injury when it finances their remaining elsewhere. The High Court placed a border on the scandal. Hopefully the politicians will come to their senses and take action in the coming days to complete the share the burden equality law so another appeal will not have to be filed with the High Court.
The Shas Party:
We regret that the High Court joined the persecution of Torah Jewry tonight by crudely intervening into the sensitive legislation procedure that is being discussed these days in the legislative body. The defense minister operates at his discretion and according to legal authority and therefore, there is no connection between the delay in recruiting them and the funding. The decision to impose economic sanctions is solely intended to join the assault and incitement against Torah scholars in Israel.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)