In a meeting of the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee, it was alleged that Member of Knesset Jamal Zahalka (Balad) sent a clear threat to any volunteers from Arabic families. "Those who attend national service should be ashamed. A girl needs to know that if she goes to national service, chances are no one will get engaged to her," MK Zahalka was alleged to have stated at the meeting.
Sar-Shalom Gerbi, the head of Sherut Leumi, the National Service, sent a letter on Wednesday to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein asking him to investigate the alleged threats against national service volunteers. In his letter, Gerbi said that there was a dramatic rise in the number of such volunteers. Either army duty or sherut leumi is mandatory for most Israelis, however those of Arabic ethnicity has traditionally received exemptions due to Israel's unique history with the Arabic-speaking world. Gerbi said that his volunteers were being branded as traitors by other Arab-Israelis.