Court Bans ‘Tal Law’ for Religious Exemptions from IDF (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 02/22/12)
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Almost all political leaders have welcomed the High Court decision
Tuesday night that the ‘Tal Law” for religious exemptions from the
IDF is illegal.
The law was named after the Tal Committee’s suggestion, adopted in
law in 2002, allowing young men to learn in yeshiva with a deferral
from enlisting until the age of 22, when they can decide whether to
serve in the army or continue to learn. Those who opted to go to work
were obligated to four months of army duty or one year of civilian
The government admitted several years ago that the law did not
achieve its aim of significantly increasing the enlistment of those
who wanted to forego army service altogether in favor of learning in
The High Court ruled by a 6-3 vote that the law is unconstitutional
because it violates the principle of equality. The justices said the
law can remain on the books for the time being but cannot be extended
when its time limit expires in several months.
There was no unified bloc of justices on either side of the decision.
Among those in favor of striking down the law were outgoing court
president Dorit Beinisch, a declared secular justice who has
consistently ruled against Jewish outposts in Judea and Samaria, and
Neil Hendel, a graduate of Yeshiva University and who is known to
have national religious views.
Voting against declaring the Tal Law unconstitutional were Asher Dan
Grunis, who will replace Beinisch next month as president and who is
religious, and Edna Arbel, another secular justice who has not been
favorable to a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.
The majority of justices concluded that the government failed to
implement the law, creating a situation of inequality.
Justice Grunis wrote in his dissension that the judicial system has
not done any better than the government to encourage the enlistment
of hareidi religious Jews.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has said he wanted to extend
the law in altered form, said after the ruling that the government
will present a new law within six months to “lead to a more just
share of the burden of military service” among Israelis.
Leaders of almost all parties except for Shas and United Torah
Judaism welcomed the ruling. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman,
heads of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, has made the elimination of the
Tal Law a principle of his party’s platform.
Kadima also praised the ruling. Party leader Tzipi Livni accused the
government of "enslaving” Israel’ future´s in favor of a minority.
Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of senior coalition
partner Yisrael Beiteinu, welcomed the ruling. Opposition from his
party and the Independence faction to the law’s extension led
Netanyahu to back away last month from his plan to advance the law
Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who was on the Tal committee that
recommended the law, said that it has not met expectations and should
be eliminated. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 02/22/12)
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