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      Supreme Court Pushes Govt. To Enlist Hareidim

      Judges demand govt. speed up legislative proceedings in drafting new hareidi IDF enlistment law.
      By Ari Yashar
      First Publish: 1/14/2014, 4:04 PM

      Hareidi men outside IDF recruiting office
      Hareidi men outside IDF recruiting office
      Flash 90

      Supreme Court judges, in a debate over petitions to enlist hareidi-religious yeshiva students to the IDF, harshly criticized Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon's decision to postpone the enlistment of thousands of yeshiva students yet again.

      During a debate over the petitions, which further call for the cancellation of funding to yeshivas (Torah academies) whose students do not enlist, a spokesperson for the state defended the postponement of enlistment given the legislative proceedings to draw up a new hareidi draft law.

      However, the judges confronted the spokesperson with a letter from the Attorney General to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Ya'alon, which challenged that "a lack of consideration for the existing law obligating enlistment because of alternate legislative proceedings is contrary to the law."

      Judge Esther Hayut demanded to know if the Attorney General had changed his position, to which the spokesperson answered "the position remains as it was, (Attorney General Yehuda) Weinstein's intention was to hasten the legislative proceedings."

      The state requested an extension of time in implementing the enlistment of hareidim, arguing that it is currently working to arrange the issue by drafting a new draft law.

      Attorney Dr. Gur Blai attempted to explain the proceedings, noting that "the Knesset is aggressively advancing legislature on this sensitive issue, and legislators should be given additional time to complete the legislative process."

      The hurried nature of legislating hareidi enlistment has led to great tension, with riots breaking out in the Meah Shearim neighborhood of Jerusalem, and hareidi MKs warning that the issue should be handled with more sensitivity and understanding

      At the same time, Blai stated "the council intends to begin voting on the amendment to the security enlistment law in the coming weeks."

      But CEO of the left-wing organization Hiddush, Attorney Uri Regev, said "whoever is following the equal burden law's legislative proceedings knows there was no real obstacle to completing them a long time ago."

      "The time has come for the Supreme Court to order an end to the illegal funding of yeshiva students that are supposed to serve in the IDF," claimed Regev. "Maybe that will end the legislative proceedings."