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Israeli Military Service Requirement Discriminates Against Arab Citizens

Using military service as a prerequisite for certain jobs and other societal benefits amounts to discrimination against those unable to serve, such as Israel's Arab citizens, writes Jillian Kestler-D'Amours.
Israeli paratroopers take part in a military exercise at the Palmachim air force base near Tel Aviv April 29, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen (ISRAEL - Tags: MILITARY) - RTXZ3TF

JERUSALEM — A government move to provide jobs in Israel’s high-tech industry to ultra-Orthodox Jews who haven’t served in the military has raised pointed criticism that Israel is conditioning basic rights on fulfilling army service, and unfairly discriminating against citizens who are exempt from the military.

“Military service is kind of a tool that is being used more and more in order to exclude the Arabs, because they don’t do military service,” explained Sawsan Zaher, director of the Economic, Social and Cultural Rights Department at Adalah, the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel.

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