Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon announced Tuesday that the state will postpone the drafting of 600 ultra-Orthodox recruits who were originally set to join the Israel Defense Forces in the months of August through October.
In an official response to a petition filed to the Supreme Court by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, Hiddush — for Religious Freedom and Equality, and other organizations, state representatives said the recruitment would be postponed until December.
The representatives explained that the decision was accepted in order to enhance the likelihood of enacting the “Burden of Equality” legislation, which will require the majority of ultra-Orthodox youths to enlist to the IDF.
“Enlistment of yeshiva students at this stage may thwart government efforts to lead to a permanent arrangement of the [Burden of Equality] subject by legislation,” the statement read.
According to the statement, “it seems that postponing enlistment for a short period of only four months will not cause permanent damage, if any.”
Last week, a bill that would significantly increase enlistment among ultra-Orthodox Israelis into the IDF and national service passed its first reading in the Knesset.
The proposal gives the ultra-Orthodox population a four-year transition period, at the end of which all but a select group of 1,800 students will serve either in the IDF or in national service. According to the plan, by 2017 most ultra-Orthodox men will no longer be able to claim exemptions from military service based on yeshiva study.