"The Israeli government on Sunday approved a draft law which will spell the end of a system which has seen tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox exempt from military service.
The draft bill, which passed in the cabinet and later in the day in the ministerial committee for legislation, still faces a series of votes in parliament before becoming law.
It stipulates that ultra-Orthodox Jewish men must either join the army or perform civilian service, and if passed it will be implemented over the next four years.
The new law seeks to amend the current situation in which ultra-Orthodox men receive exemptions if they are studying in religious seminaries......."
Modern Israel was designed to be a nation that was primarily secular. Citizens were expected to be normal contributing members of the community, including serving in the Israeli Defense Forces. It was never intended to be a state that required all sorts of strict religious restrictions and practices. It is a frightening specter to see a significant body of people in Israel trying to do much of what we in the West would protest if Muslims were doing the same thing in their own countries, let alone our own.
Modern Israel, while being a homeland for Jewish people, was not founded on strict religious principles. Actually many of the most prominent Zionists were irreligious and many adhered to political positions that were certainly Left of center. I can recall publications of interviews with Sephardic Jews who were children at the time and were aghast that they would be required to do school-assigned homework on the Sabbath...
...Researching the Israeli wars of Liberation and those that followed reveals a history of struggle, deprivation, and ultimate sacrifice utterly devoid of Ultra-Orthodox members of the Haganah, Palmach, Irgun, etc.
Israeli society has made all sorts of concessions to these people including provisions that allow their young men to essentially study the Torah full time while receiving financial aid.......
Ultra-Orthodox do not celebrate the anniversary of Israeli independence and treat that day as an ordinary day of business......"