Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled on Tuesday that the law that allows full-time yeshiva students to defer army service is unconstitutional. The Knesset will not be able to renew it in its present form.
The law, known as the Tal Law, went into effect 10 years ago and is due to expire in August. According to the legislation, the Knesset must begin considering whether to extend it at least six months before it expires.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak welcomed the ruling − the result of a 6-3 vote. “The Tal Law, after 10 years, did not meet expectations, nor did it lead to the required changes ... concerning equally sharing the burden.”
Barak said it was urgent that Israel pass a new law so that all citizens equally share society’s burdens.
Tuesday’s decision punctuates outgoing High Court President Dorit Beinisch’s term; it might be the most significant of her tenure. Her successor, Justice Asher Grunis, said in a minority opinion that “it would have been best if the court didn’t have to deal with the issue; if it had been left in the public sphere beyond the court’s jurisdiction.”
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