This week, MK David Amsalem (Likud) filed a petition with the Supreme Court demanding that Arabs also be drafted into the IDF. The lawyer representing Amsalem in the petition, Adv. Moti Shimon, told Israel National News - Arutz Sheva in an interview where exactly the petition stands.
"The petition was filed on Monday and it is still too early to complete all the proceedings," lawyer Shimon began, noting that "already that day a Supreme Court decision was made, in which MK Amsalem was asked to submit a clarification notice on what he did before filing the petition to achieve the purpose of the petition."
In his remarks, Adv. Shimon notes that the issue of the obligation to complete the proceedings before a petition to the Supreme Court is under discussion - whether it applies in every situation and matter, but as of now the reality is that not every type of petition has such an obligation, although the issue is still under discussion in the legal arena.
On the very request of the court from the Knesset member for clarification about the steps he took, Adv. Shimon says that everyone knows that "MK Amsalem tried to achieve the purpose of the petition in other ways. We heard about the bill he submitted to amend the Security Service Law in order to achieve the purpose of the petition."
Shimon says that this bill was discussed before a preliminary reading in which MK Amsalem demanded a change in the wording of the law, in a way which would bring about the requirement of young people in the Arab public in Israel to show up for recruitment. The demand presented by MK Amsalem touched on the term "may" since under the existing law the Defense Minister, "the envoy" who is in charge of enforcing the conscription law may summon for probation for military service any young man above the age of 18. Amsalem claimed the minister exploited the interpretation of the word "may" as such that it does not obligate him so that it can, at his discretion, exempt Arabs from the obligation of conscription. Therefore, Amsalem demanded the change of word to the word "must," and thus the enumerator will be required to take time to examine eligibility for the recruitment of any young person wherever he is, without personal discretion.
The demand was raised in the Knesset plenum and the person who answered on behalf of the Minister of Defense was his deputy, who claimed on behalf of the Minister that he opposed the initiative to change the wording of the law and believed that the envoy should be left with the authority to act as he sees fit.
In light of this answer from the Minister, says Adv. Shimon, MK Amsalem was left with no choice but to appeal to the Supreme Court and demand the change through the judicial system. Shimon adds that even without this change, the existing law requires the clerk, the Defense Minister and the Attorney General to treat all citizens equally and fairly, and this also means summoning young Arabs to enlist in the IDF.
To our question as to how he treats those who see the entire petition as nothing more than another attempt to embarrass the government of which the United Arab List are also a part, Adv. Shimon replies and notes that this issue is not of interest to him as he deals only with the legal arena. However, he believes that this is a substantive question that requires a public debate, since it includes basic human rights.
Attorney Shimon also refers to the question answered by MK Amsalem from the court about his petition. According to him, the agility with which the court responded does not bother him but is commendable in his eyes, but it is puzzling to him how it happened that the decision became known to the media even before it was brought to him by virtue of being the representative of MK Amsalem.