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Knesset Reportedly Stalling on Law against Female Draft Evaders

Secularist NGO says 'burial' of the law by MK Yariv Levin is 'a disgusting act of defrauding the public.'
By Shlomo Pitrikovsky
First Publish: 5/12/2014, 10:52 AM

Female soldiers near Beit El.
Female soldiers near Beit El.
Flash 90

A law that would make it difficult for secular women to gain exemption from arny service by claiming they are religious is being “buried” in the Knesset, according to a report on Voice of Israel Radio.

Two years ago, the Knesset passed a law that makes it possible for the State to file charges against young women who falsely declared that they were religiously observant, in order to avoid service in the IDF. The law has not been implemented, however, to this day.

The reason for this non-implementation, according to Voice of Israel public radio, is that a special Knesset committee that was appointed to fine-tune the law's regulations has failed to do so. The committee is chaired by MK Yariv Levin (Likud Beytenu), who is also the Coalition Whip.

The Director of secularist NGO Hidush, Attorney Uri Regev, said in reaction that “the burial of the law against female draft evaders is a disgusting act of defrauding the public.”

"Two years ago, the Knesset celebrated and took full credit for the amendment to the law, which will make it possible to put female draft evaders on trial. One could have expected it to ratify the regulations, the moment it received them. It is hard to imagine a possible reason for failing to do this, and continuing to protect the female evaders. Up until two years ago, thousands of young women evaded service by taking advantage of a legal loophople. In te last two years they have been riding roughshod on the law with the Knesset's direct patronage.

"The burial of the Female Draft Evaders' Law is further proof of how corrupting the connection between religion and politics is. The MKs' failure to act is made much more serious by the fact that they were debating and planning, at the same time, to lengthen the period of service of women in the IDF. This is a clear example of the actions that cause the Knesset to lose all of the voters' trust. It is also the kind of case that force the High Court to intervene in the Knesset's work. If the MKs do not want the High Court to force them to convene and ratify the regulations, they had better do their jobs.”