Female soldiers
Female soldiersIsrael news photo: Flash 90

The government on Sunday reopened the issue of the “fair burden” of IDF service, this time extending it to religious girls. At Sunday's cabinet meeting, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said that among the groups the government should be “encouraging” to serve a full three years in the army are Hesder yeshiva students – and religious girls and women.

If Israel truly wishes for the defense burden to be shared equitably, it must ensure that all groups serve the full 32 months that regular IDF male recruits serve, the Justice Ministry said Sunday. In a statement, the Ministry said that it was necessary to examine all the issues involved in equitable service. “In advance of the final government decision on equitable service the government must investigate anew the possibility of increasing the length of service for all yeshiva students as well,” including Hesder students.

According to the Ministry, the government must change its position that it considers 17 months sufficient for Hesder students. In its statement, the Ministry said that the High Court would probably throw out any law that allowed one group to serve for a shorter period than the full amount of time than another group served.

Speaking before the government, Weinstein said that the government needed to put into place a method whereby groups would be “encouraged” to commit to the full service expected. That, he said, would include religious girls and women, who like girls and women from a secular background, should be serving as well.

The government incorporated Weinstein's recommendations into its vote.