National Service 'Veterans' to Get IDF-Style Benefits Under Law
The Ministerial Law Committee on Sunday authorized for a Knesset vote a law that would expand the rights that demobilized and resever IDF soldiers enjoy in civilian life to others who have contributed to the state, including individuals who were members of National Service (Sherut Leumi) and civilian defense efforts. The law was proposed by coalition chairman MK Yariv Levin (Likud).
The law, if approved by the Knesset as expected, will grant economic and social rights to members of civilian and national service groups that previously had been granted only to IDF soldiers. In addition, the rights will be granted to individuals who applied to serve in the IDF but were rejected for health or other reasons.
The Law for the Rights of Those Who Contribute to the Welfare of the State, as it is known, will provide preferences in government jobs and grants to those covered by it. Such preference will be legally protected, and instances in which institutions reject others not covered by the law for the benefit of National and Civilian Service graduates will not be considered to be discriminatory.
Those who qualify will also receive preference in areas such as discounts for college tuition, pension programs for IDF soldiers, entry into college dormitories, and perhaps most importantly preference in receiving land for the construction of a home.
Commenting on the law's approval, Levin said that “the law is a first step in ensuring full equality for those who defend and enhance the security of the state. It provides benefits for those who gave of their time and energy to protect the state. I am determined to advance this legislation and ensure it becomes law.”