Regev Responds

The wheels of justice continue turning...

Hiddush in the legal trenches

Hiddush has initiated legal action in two instances of abuse by Haredi outreach operations infringing upon the rights and lives of residents of neighboring buildings.

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1.Young women dodging the IDF using fraudulent affidavits claiming a religious lifestyle.

In Hiddush’s last newsletter, we reported on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, which was preparing a bill to extend the work of the administrative committee authorized to cancel exemptions from military service granted to those who fraudulently claim a religious lifestyle that prevents them from serving in the IDF or doing civic service. Unfortunately, even though the committee voted to move the bill to its second and third Knesset readings to make it into law, the coalition ended up withdrawing the bill from the final vote. This was because they confronted a united front of opposition parties, as well as the refusal of the coalition member party Ra’am to support it, which would have resulted in a defeat for the coalition.

While the Ra’am party’s objection was not explicitly explained, the party’s refusal to vote for the amendment was seen in the context of their refusal to vote on matters pertaining to IDF enlistment altogether. If that is indeed the case, it may pose further difficulties for the coalition to pass the draft law for enlisting haredi yeshiva students; and it will present the coalition with an even greater dilemma because the current law will expire in January due to the Supreme Court decision. If the coalition will be unable to present an alternative law to the Court by that time, the matter will become more explosive.

The fact that the Likud, for instance, was unwilling to vote for the amendment further highlights the internal contradiction, which the main elements of the opposition now face. The inability to extend the provisions allowing for administrative revocations of fraudulent exemptions undermines the IDF and perpetuates largescale fraudulent exemptions. The Likud made this possible because of its refusal to vote for the bill, preferring to impede the coalition over serving Israel’s security needs and its rule of law.

Hiddush has again turned to the authorities, demanding that they pass the legislation necessary to continue the operation of the administrative committee or resolve the unacceptable state of affairs in another manner. Hiddush announced that if the matter is not resolved, it will turn to the Supreme Court in order to make it possible to administratively cancel these fraudulently obtained exemptions (as is the case with any other such fraudulent permits) and declare the politically manipulated limitation on revoking such exemptions to be unconstitutional and illegal.


2. Appeals to Hiddush for help

Hiddush has initiated legal action in two instances of abuse by Haredi outreach operations infringing upon the rights and lives of residents of neighboring buildings.

One instance involves Netanya residents, whose residential buildings border a public park. Part of the park has been appropriated by a religious outreach group. The group is conducting extremely noisy activities at odd hours in a previously peaceful neighborhood. The apartment buildings are immediately next to the park and the group is severely infringing upon the residents’ quality of life.

The other case involves residents in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Armon HaNetziv who have been unsuccessful in preventing the operation of an illegal synagogue-yeshiva in an apartment in their building. This operation is patently against the law because the zoning of the building is residential. It involves illegal structural changes to the building, as well as a taking over of part of the shared courtyard in front of the building by enclosing it and blocking the hallway during prayer services (using it as the women’s section). Most disturbingly, the yeshiva makes extreme noise at all hours of the day and late hours of the night.

In both instances, the attempts of the residents to get their respective municipalities to end the disturbances and illegal operations have gotten them nowhere, and that has brought them to us.

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