Likud: ‘Strange’ that High Court intervened after ‘largest-ever’ draft of ultra-Orthodox recruits

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party criticizes the High Court of Justice’s ruling determining that there is no legal basis for excluding ultra-Orthodox men from the IDF draft.

“The real solution to the conscription problem is not a High Court ruling that will be relevant only for a short period but the completion of the historic conscription law which is currently being prepared for a second and third reading in the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee,” Likud says in a statement following the historic judgement.

The party calls it “strange” that the court would intervene in the issue “precisely now, on the eve of the completion of the historic conscription law” and following the “largest-ever” draft of ultra-Orthodox recruits.

It is unclear what record enlistment Likud was referring to. In 2020, the IDF admitted that its enlistment numbers for the ultra-Orthodox were unreliable.

The government is currently working to pass a bill to lower the current age of exemption for yeshiva students from 26 to 21 and “very slowly” increase the rate of ultra-Orthodox conscription.

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