More than two-thirds of Israeli Jews support denying funding to yeshiva students who refuse to enlist in military or civil service.
A new poll conducted by Hiddush, an Israeli NGO that supports separation of religion and state, found that 68% of Jewish Israeli adults support denying Haredi draft dodgers government subsidies, and 69% support the Supreme Court’s repealing of the Tal Law. Only 29% opposed the Supreme Court’s decision.
Opinions about the Tal Law — which was ostensibly designed to draw ultra-Orthodox men into national service but for a decade perpetuated draft avoidance before it was struck down last month — were clearly divided along religious lines: 83% of secular Israelis supported the Tal Law’s repeal, and 86% of the Ultra-Orthodox opposed it.
Eighty-two percent of the sample population think that a new law must be passed to enforce mandatory conscription of all or most yeshiva students, the survey found.
Hiddush President Rabbi Uri Regev said, “The poll proves unequivocally that the Israeli public is sick and tired with politically motivated mass exemption and is demanding mandatory service for yeshiva students.”
The survey, conducted at the end of February by the Smith Institute on behalf of Hiddush, based its findings on a representative sample of 500 adult Jews in Israel.