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Israeli bill gives ultra-Orthodox choice between IDF service, work

A new IDF conscription bill offers the ultra-Orthodox a choice between military service and going to work.

A revised IDF service bill is on its way to confirmation in the Knesset. Over the years, Israeli politicians and civil society groups have called for drafting young ultra-Orthodox men into the military instead of enabling them to stay in yeshivas and study. The new plan is a major concession of the left-center parties on the principle known as "sharing the burden.”

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman are closely associated with long-held demands that the ultra-Orthodox share the burden. Judging by the new plan, they seem to have realized that yeshiva students cannot be conscripted by force. They are now waiving military service for economic reasons, as way to bring these young people into the work force.

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