Mothers Speak Out

Draft Crisis: Mothers Appeal Filed Against Exemption for Ultra-Orthodox

After the order of exemption for yeshiva students expired without a new law being legislated, "Mothers on the Frontline" filed an appeal to the court to draft the ultra-Orthodox students and bring an end to the discrimination

ultra-Orthodox demonstration against conscription (Photo: Flash 90)

The protest organization 'Mothers on the Frontline' submitted an appeal to the High Court this morning, in which they request the Supreme Court justices to instruct the government, the Defense Minister, and the military authorities to immediately enforce the drafting of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students. This comes after their exemption status has expired in recent months, with the aim of "putting an end to the long-standing discrimination between blood and blood," as stated in their appeal.

The arrangement that granted ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students the option to submit draft deferment forms is no longer in effect. This comes after the expiration of the temporary law passed in 2017, following a ruling by the High Court that it violates the principle of equality. The Court determined that the government should formulate an alternative framework by July 1st. However, as of now, the government has not yet enacted a new law to regulate the status of yeshiva students.

Attorney Dafna Holtz-Lechner, on behalf of the plaintiffs, submitted the appeal, stating, "Before us is the essence of the constitutional crisis in its entirety: a provision of the law explicitly establishing equal conscription for all, without discrimination between blood and blood, and a government that makes an unlawful decision, explicitly violating the law that obligates it, and instructs the army not to act according to the law and not to take steps to conscript yeshiva students."

The directive of the Yeshiva Committee: to show up for the first order

At the same time, the yeshiva council issued a directive to all ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students aged 16 and a half to show up for the first order. In the letter sent to the leaders of the yeshivas, it was stated: "we are in a transitional period where the status of our diligent Torah scholars has not yet been clarified, we have reached clear conclusions and upon receiving their final approval from the authorized authorities, clear instructions will be sent to the yeshivas. However precisely during this sensitive period that, as mentioned, the instructions were not anchored as required, the duty of intercession rests on the students of the yeshivas. The students should behave sensibly, with maximum responsibility and in strict adherence to a number of basic rules in order to maintain their recognition as yeshiva students whose Torah study is their craft, with all that entails."

In recent weeks, ultra-Orthodox members of the Knesset have appealed to the Prime Minister demanding that a new Conscription Law be enacted at the end of the summer break. According to them, as long as the law is not passed and the status of yeshiva members is not regulated, the ultra-Orthodox will not support further legislation on legal reform.

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