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Daily Briefing June 17: Day 255 – Will Knesset keep reservists longer but exempt Haredim?

Political correspondent Sam Sokol discusses a couple of bills coming up for a vote, as reporter Sue Surkes explains a pilot program for refugee kids and a Nubian ibex rescue

Welcome to The Times of Israel’s Daily Briefing, your 20-minute audio update on what’s happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world.

Political correspondent Sam Sokol and environmental reporter Sue Surkes join host Jessica Steinberg for today’s episode.

Sokol speaks about a Knesset vote on the renewal of a bill that raises the age at which reservists can stop serving, because of exigencies of the war and an ongoing manpower shortage.

Sokol discusses how this legislation feeds into the ongoing ultra-Orthodox draft issue, generating a backlash of anger due to its juxtaposition with what is sometimes called an evasion law for the ultra-Orthodox, allowing draft exemptions for young yeshiva students while the burden of military service falls on other parts of Israeli society.

He also looks at another bill that would allow the government to fill hundreds of new state-funded rabbinical posts in towns and local councils, creating what some see as a kind of jobs program for members of the coalition’s religious parties. The bill, which was stalled during the earlier months of the war, is now being pushed by some coalition partners. Sokol says a major political scrap could emerge from these two controversial issues on the docket.

Surkes talks about a pilot program for the children of migrants and refugees that integrates them into mixed classes in other neighborhoods, offering more hope for the future but not solving the many issues facing this beleaguered population.

She also describes the rescue of a Nubian ibex that fell into a deep sinkhole near Kibbutz Ein Gedi by the Dead Sea.

For more updates, please check out The Times of Israel’s ongoing live blog.

Discussed articles include:

Far-right ministers blast ‘delusional’ daily pauses in fighting to secure Gaza aid

Knesset revives bill expanding Chief Rabbinate’s influence over local authorities

Government backs new extension to IDF reservists’ service despite backlash

Nubian ibex rescued from 10-meter-deep sinkhole

THOSE WE HAVE LOST: Civilians and soldiers killed in Hamas’s onslaught on Israel

THOSE WE ARE MISSING: The hostages and victims whose fate is still unknown

Subscribe to The Times of Israel Daily Briefing on Apple PodcastsSpotify, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts. This episode was produced by the Pod-Waves. 

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