Israel’s High Court orders cuts to yeshiva students’ stipends

JERUSALEM (RNS) Israel’s High Court of Justice has ruled that the government must suspend stipends to 18- to 20-year-old yeshiva students whose military conscription has been postponed by a government reluctant to anger ultra-Orthodox Jewish legislators. [caption id="attachment_22908" align="alignleft" width="427"]U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro visits Mir yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy of Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Creative Commons U.S. Ambassador to Israel Daniel Shapiro visits Mir yeshiva in Tel Aviv. Photo courtesy of Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv/Creative Commons[/caption] Back in 2012, the High Court struck down the law that granted military exemptions to yeshiva students. But the government did not act on that ruling, allowing yeshiva students to continue to take advantage of the long-standing exemption. That led several groups opposing the exemption to petition the high court to revisit the case. Military exemptions are a highly charged issue in Israel, where all able-bodied Jewish 18-year-olds, both male and female, are required to serve for three and two years respectively, as long as they are not ultra-Orthodox. In the past, ultra-Orthodox political parties in the Israeli parliament threatened to call new elections if the draft exemption were challenged. Although no ultra-Orthodox parties sit in the current coalition, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — who may need their support in the future — has not forced the issue. Since the 2012 ruling, the defense minister has deferred the students’ draft date three times. The ultra-Orthodox Sephardic Shas Party told the newspaper Haaretz after Tuesday's ruling that it “regretted that the High Court justices joined this evening in persecuting the Torah world, while crudely intervening in a sensitive legislative process that is being discussed in the legislature during these very days.”   The post Israel’s High Court orders cuts to yeshiva students’ stipends appeared first on Religion News Service.

One Response to “Israel’s High Court orders cuts to yeshiva students’ stipends”

  1. Zappa912

    Good. Time to go to work like everyone else in the country. Many hard working Israelis greatly resent supporting these able bodied people who study the Torah the entire day rather than work for a living. At least, those that study religion in the US are not supported by the government. They are supported by private funding. What makes it worse is that many of these folks have populated the confiscated lands of the Palestinians on the West Bank, and more are coming by the thousands as the Israeli government continues to illegally expand the settlements on Palestinian owned and occupied lands.

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