Bombshell Military Draft News

( – In a move shaking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas, Israel’s Supreme Court has unanimously decided that ultra-Orthodox Jewish men must be drafted into the military.

This ruling ends a longstanding military exemption for ultra-Orthodox Jews, known as the Haredim, which has been a contentious issue.

Although ultra-Orthodox Jews make up about 13% of Israel’s population, the figure is expected to rise sharply in the future.

The court stated, “In the middle of a difficult war, the burden of inequality is felt more acutely than ever—and it requires advancing a sustainable solution to this issue.”

Additionally, the ruling stops government funding for religious schools that benefit from the draft exemption.

Traditionally, while most of Israel’s minority groups are drafted, the Haredim were exempt to preserve Jewish traditions, a policy in place since Israel’s establishment in 1948.

This exemption has been crucial for the two ultra-Orthodox parties in Netanyahu’s coalition. Many Haredi men do not work, as they dedicate their time to studying Jewish texts instead.

The timing of the court’s decision has sparked controversy, especially from Netanyahu’s Likud party, which suggests that the issue will be addressed through upcoming legislation in the Knesset, though it might not be resolved in this summer’s session.

The Israeli Defense Forces are currently experiencing a manpower shortage, which has exacerbated tensions around the draft policy.

During the recent mobilization for the war against Hamas—the largest in Israel’s history—about 287,000 draftees were called up, but less than 1% were Haredi men.

Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid commented on the situation, emphasizing that religious studies should not excuse anyone from national duties.

“The Torah is not an excuse for evasion, and the Gemara is not an excuse for refusal. From today, those who do not enlist will not receive a single penny from the state. There will be no more allowances for the non-mobilizing soldiers, because there is no more exemption,” he said.

This landmark ruling arrives shortly after Netanyahu dissolved Israel’s war cabinet following the resignations of key figures, including Benny Gantz, who left over disagreements with how Netanyahu was managing the conflict with Hamas.

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