Only 10 to 20 percent of ultra-Orthodox young men will be exempt from serving in the army, if bill being drafted to replace the Tal Law is enacted, Maariv reported Wednesday.
According to the terms of the bill, the number of exemptions for religious reasons will be drastically lowered within eight years. The bill is sponsored by Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Shaul Mofaz and MK Yohanan Plesner, both of the centrist Kadima party.
The proposed law will make service mandatory, but will allow recruits to opt out of the army and perform civil service instead.
The exemption of 10%-20% of eligible ultra-Orthodox young men from army service would mean that 1,000 to 2,000 members of the community would be allowed to continuing studying Torah full time.
The idea of limiting the number of exemptions is not new and was in effect from the founding of the state, when David Ben-Gurion first gave the ultra-Orthodox a pass from serving in the military, until 1977. In 2002, the Tal Law was passed as experimental legislation trying regulate ultra-Orthodox IDF service.
In February the Supreme Court ruled the Tal Law unconstitutional, and from August it will no longer be in effect. Plesner is one of a few MKs leading the search for legislation of a new solution, and this law is set to be brought to the Knesset in May.