Israeli Court Orders Army To Draft Ultra-Orthodox Men, Rattling Netanyahu’s Government

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In a landmark ruling, Israel’s Supreme Court has ordered the Israeli army to draft ultra-Orthodox men, a move that has sent shockwaves through the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The decision has sparked controversy and raised questions about the balance of power between the country’s secular and religious communities.

For decades, ultra-Orthodox men, known as Haredim, have been exempt from military service, a privilege granted to them in exchange for their commitment to religious studies. However, this exemption has long been a source of tension between the Haredi community and the rest of Israeli society, with many arguing that it is unfair to expect secular Israelis to bear the burden of military service while the Haredim are exempt.

The Supreme Court’s ruling, handed down on Tuesday, declares that the exemption is unconstitutional and orders the government to draft ultra-Orthodox men into the army. The court gave the government one year to implement the ruling, sparking a heated debate about the implications of the decision.

The ruling has been met with fierce opposition from the Haredi community, which has long been a key constituency for Netanyahu’s Likud party. Haredi leaders have vowed to resist the ruling, arguing that it threatens the very fabric of their community. “This is a declaration of war against the Haredi community,” said Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, the leader of the United Torah Judaism party, a key coalition partner in Netanyahu’s government.

Netanyahu, who has long relied on the support of the Haredi community, has been caught in the middle of the controversy. While he has publicly expressed support for the ruling, he has also been working behind the scenes to find a way to mitigate its impact on the Haredi community. “We will find a solution that respects the rights of all Israelis, including the Haredi community,” Netanyahu said in a statement.

However, the ruling has also been hailed as a major victory by secular Israelis, who have long argued that the exemption is unfair and undermines the country’s social cohesion. “This is a historic decision that will finally bring equality to Israel’s military service,” said Yair Lapid, the leader of the opposition Yesh Atid party.

The implications of the ruling are far-reaching, with many predicting that it will lead to a significant shift in the balance of power between the secular and religious communities in Israel. The Haredi community, which makes up around 10% of Israel’s population, has long wielded significant political influence, thanks to its ability to deliver a bloc of votes to Netanyahu’s government.

However, the ruling may also have significant implications for Israel’s military, which has long struggled to integrate ultra-Orthodox soldiers into its ranks. The army has expressed concerns about the logistical challenges of absorbing thousands of new recruits, many of whom may not speak Hebrew or have basic military training.

As the government scrambles to implement the ruling, one thing is clear: the Supreme Court’s decision has sent shockwaves through Israeli society, and its implications will be felt for years to come. Whether Netanyahu’s government can find a way to navigate the controversy and implement the ruling remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the status quo has been shattered, and Israel’s social and political landscape will never be the same again.

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