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June 29, 2012 2:49 pm

Tal Law on Military Service Held up in Knesset

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Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: Pinheiro Roosewelt

The legislation aimed at replacing Israel’s Tal Law  – which allows Yeshiva students to defer military service in Israel – is now in limbo after the Yisrael Beiteinu party in the Knesset announced on Thursday that it would no longer participate in the multi-party committee scheduled to issue recommendations on the matter.

The Tal Law, enacted a decade ago, effectively exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews who opt to study in yeshivas from military service. The High Court of Justice recently declared the law unconstitutional and said it must be replaced by Aug. 1 with a new law that does not discriminate against those who do serve in the military.

Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman said his party made its move following the multi-party committee’s decision to avoid legislation that would apply the mandatory conscription or national service requirement to Israeli Arabs, Israel Hayom reported.

Arab lawmakers were furious at the prospect of compulsory service. “Arabs don’t have to be the victims of the Jewish war between Lieberman and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu,” Arab lawmaker Ahmad Tibi of the Raam-Taal Party told Army Radio on Friday.

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