Jerusalem - The Israeli High Court of Justice on Tuesday struck down the government’s 2015 policy on recruitment of haredim into the IDF and the country’s national service, saying that it fails to meet its goal and discriminates against most Israelis who draft into the IDF as part of the country’s obligatory conscription.

The court gave the government one year to pass a new law before the default emergency regulations kick in, which means that all fit Israelis of age will be drafted—with no exemptions for haredim.


The decision follows a massive, almost year-and-half-lag in which no hearings were held and it appears that the High Court and the government played a game of chicken. The court did not rule and waited to see whether the state would modify aspects of the law, which it had watered down to please haredi parties on the coalition, but which the court and the petitioners had criticized.

Likewise, the state waited to see if the court would refrain from ruling in order to avoid being attacked for judicial activism as well as to avoid addressing the time-bomb issue which could blow up the coalition.

Haredim as a rule oppose army service because they are concerned about losing their religious values, which include a focus on Torah study. Most secular Israelis are angry that haredim mostly get an exemption from the draft that binds them - an exemption which haredi parties demand before joining any coalition.

The decision was 8-1, more at JPOST