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Ultra-Orthodox exception divides Israel  SVT News

Ultra-Orthodox exception divides Israel SVT News

Ultra Orthodox Jews in Israel can choose to study religion instead of military service. Up to the age of 26, ultra-Orthodox Jews can also receive government support for their studies.

The Israeli Supreme Court ruled that the exemption was discriminatory, and the government had until today, March 31, to come up with new legislation that would be drafted by June 30 at the latest.

This week, the Netanyahu government asked for more time – the court granted another month but at the same time decided to freeze the grant for religious studies from Monday 1 April.

'There are no immediate solutions'

The Haredi cooperation parties threaten to withdraw from the government if the exception disappears, and the secular parties threaten to withdraw if the exception remains.

Anders Persson, a professor of political science at Linnaeus University, says that the issue is very difficult for Netanyahu.

-At the moment, there do not seem to be any immediate solutions.

At the same time, Netanyahu has a history of surviving political crises.

Netanyahu is sometimes called “the magician.” We'll see if he has a rabbit he can pull out of his hat and find a magic solution to this problem. Or a settlement, or a new procrastination.

According to Pearson, what speaks against the collapse of the government is that none of the parties seem able to benefit from new elections.

Exception since 1948

Most Jewish men in Israel have a mandatory duty to serve in the army for at least three years. Jewish women have a mandatory service period of two years.

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Ultra-Orthodox Jews have escaped conscription since Israel's creation in 1948. Since then, the group has grown to make up 13 percent of Israel's population — and within 40 years, the Ultra-Orthodox are expected to make up a third of the country's population.