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      Minister: Mandatory National Service for Everyone

      Minister Erdan visits protesting reservists, promises “equal distribution of the burden.”
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 4/22/2012, 7:07 PM

      Minister Gilad Erdan
      Minister Gilad Erdan
      Flash 90

      Minister Gilad Erdan visited an IDF reservists’ protest tent Sunday and expressed sympathy with the reservists’ cause. The Likud-led government is making efforts to ensure an equal distribution of the burden of service, he declared.

      The protesting reservists are calling to end the Tal Law, which allows hareidi-religious young men to avoid IDF service if they study Torah full-time instead.

      “The Prime Minister and the Likud aim to propose a law that would lead to equal distribution, so that whoever does not serve in the IDF would do national or civilian service,” Erdan told them. He told them he has supported an end to the Tal Law since it was first put into effect.

      The Tal Law is to end after the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional. However, the bill’s opponents fear it will be replaced by a similar law.

      Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz visited the protesters Sunday as well, as did other Kadima party MKs. “The call to share the burden equally is not an attack on anyone, it is for everyone’s sake,” Mofaz said. “It has a message of unity.”

      “I call on the Prime Minister not to bury his head in the sand,” Mofaz said. “Hundreds of thousands of young men and women are calling for equal service.”

      Erdan accused Mofaz of “riding the coattails of myself and many others who protested the Tal Law 12 years ago.” As Defense Minister, Mofaz supported a measure to extend the Tal Law, he added.