Day before haredi draft law expires, Knesset asks for extension

With haredi draft deferment law set to expire tomorrow, Knesset to request third extension from Supreme Court. Will court grant request?

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Knesset vote on Draft Law
Knesset vote on Draft Law
Noam Rivkin Fenton/Flash90

According to reports by Israel Hayom, the government is expected to turn to the high court to ask for another extension to enact the Draft Law, citing the upcoming elections and inability of the government to pass major legislation during the lame duck session.

The Justice Ministry will explain to the courts that since it is election season, it will be difficult for the current government to put an agreeable outline to the Draft Law together at this time.

Since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, the IDF has set aside special exemptions and deferments for various religious groups. Muslim and Christian Arabs, Druze women (Druze males draft) and Orthodox Jewish women all receive blanket draft exemptions, while full-time yeshiva students are granted open-ended draft deferments, which may be renewed each year.

In 2002, the Tal Law was passed in the Knesset to encourage more haredi men to enlist, while still giving others the possibility to extend their draft deferral indefinitely.

In 2012, The Tal Law was thrown out by the Supreme Court.

Two years later, the government came up with a replacement to the Tal Law. An amendment was put in place where it limited draft deferrals for yeshiva students and placed tougher sanctions on draft dodgers.

In 2015, when the previous government had collapsed, the new coalition repealed the changes made a year earlier, effectively reinstating the status quo ante.

In 2017, the court struck the 2015 amendment and gave the state a year to pass a replacement bill.

Since then, the government has asked for two extensions in order to pass a new draft law.

The most recent extension, issued in December, gave the government until January 15th to pass a replacement draft law.

The judges at the time wrote, “After reviewing the request and responses that were submitted, we agree to request in part and postpone the date of annulment of the law.”

Now, the Justice Ministry has requested that the Supreme Court grant another extension, saying the Knesset would be unable to pass a replacement law during the election season.

“In order to allow the new government to be formed after the general elections, as well for the 21st Knesset to address thia complex issue, and at the request of the Prime Minister, the Minister of Defense, and the Attorney General, the Honorable Court is requested to order an additional extension of the absolute order which will be entered into effect July 28, 2019. Which will be at the end of the first three months of term for the 21st Knesset.”