National Service Not Enough

Hiddush commissioned poll: Opposition to Tal Law

Stretcher protest by the Forum for Mandatory ServiceStretcher protest by the Forum for Mandatory Service

On Thursday, January 20th, the stretcher campaign organized by the the Duty of Service Forum (Forum Hovat HaSherut) at the end of a protest against dodging the draft and national service, which took place across from the prime minister's house. Organizations marched past the prime minister's house in protest to the Tal Law.

59% of the Jewish public in Israel opposes giving yeshiva students an exemption from army service in exchange doing a year of national service. 86% of immigrants opposed to the government allowing yeshiva students to perform one year of national service instead of army service. 73% of secular people are also opposed to this proposal.

This data appears in a poll published by the Smith Institute and commissioned by the organization Hiddush – Freedom of Religion in Israel. The government recently approved a reform to the Tal Law, the focus of which is an exemption from army service for yeshiva students from the age of 22, on condition that they do one yer one year of national

one year of national service cannot be a substitute

service cannot be a substituteof national service. Only 36% of the public support granting an exemption at this age or younger. Another 5% are willing to grant an exemption in exchange for a year of national service at a greater age than the one approved by the government, 24 or 26.

The survey was done on December 27-28, 2010, using a representative sample of 500 people from the adult Jewish population.

The CEO of Hiddush, rabbi and attorney Uri Regev, said in response: "The message of the public is clear: No to the government's reform of the exemption, no to the government's decision to exempt all yeshiva students, no to the government's systematic capitulation to the extortion of the Haredi parties". According to Regev, "the public is convinced that one year of national service cannot be a substitute for the three years in the army to which the rest of the Jewish population is obligated. It's too bad that the government ministers can't understand this very simple truth."

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