Israeli Supreme Court Decides to Force Ultra-Orthodox Jews into the Military

The Jews are suffering combat losses they never expected in Gaza.

I have argued that Bibi was aware of the fact Hamas couldn’t be defeated, as it seems impossible he wasn’t aware of that, but it also appears that the Jews didn’t expect to take serious casualties.

Forcing the Orthodox – who don’t even believe in the legitimacy of the Israeli state – into the military is a move that could cause some serious waves.


Israel’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the state must begin drafting ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary into the military, a decree with the potential to divide Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Netanyahu’s government relies on two ultra-Orthodox parties that regard conscription exemptions as key to keeping their constituents in religious seminaries and away from a melting-pot military that might test their conservative customs.

It’s really more complicated than that.

At least a good number of the Orthodox do not accept that the “Jewish state” is a legitimate entity, and would in theory have no problem living under a Hamas-run state. I don’t think they’re sympathetic to Hamas, they just don’t care. They would be doing the same thing they are doing now, and Hamas wouldn’t stop them. These people lived in Islamic countries since forever. They are not political, they just want to read their books and do chants and torture chickens and molest boys. (Hamas would take issue with the gay molestation stuff, but this is very secretive and Hamas would keep distance from these people and just tell them to pay their taxes and stay in their ghettoes.)

It’s a whole long story, but there’s a reason they were exempt this whole time and it’s not related to the Israeli government being polite. It was their assumption that forcing them into the military would cause a lot more problems than it would solve.

Unless of course you don’t have any options because you don’t have any soldiers. But what are these Orthodox going to do in the military?

Leaders of those parties said they were disappointed with the ruling but issued no immediate threat to the government.

However, the prospect of the military, backed by Defence Minister Yoav Gallant, starting to draft the seminary students could widen cracks in Netanyahu’s increasingly brittle coalition.

The ultra-Orthodox conscription waiver has become especially charged as Israel’s armed forces are overstretched by a multi-front war with Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Wait, so are we now officially referring to Lebanon as a front in a war?

I didn’t think that was official yet.

“At the height of a difficult war, the burden of inequality is more than ever acute,” the court’s unanimous ruling said.

Most Jewish Israelis are bound by law to serve in the military from the age of 18, for three years for men and two years for women. Members of Israel’s 21 percent Arab minority are exempt, though some do serve, and ultra-Orthodox Jewish seminary students have also been largely exempt for decades.

Don’t quote me, but I think this goes back to Ben-Gurion. I think it was always assumed by all Israeli governments that forcing the Orthodox to serve would create problems.

The law governing the exemption for seminary students expired last year, but the government continued to allow them not to serve. The Supreme Court ruled that in the absence of a new legal basis for the exemption, the state must draft them. The ruling also barred seminaries from receiving state subsidies if scholars avoid service without deferrals or exemptions.

With a new law on the issue now being discussed in parliament, Education Minister Yoav Kisch, of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, voiced hope agreement could be reached on a compromise.

Not in a civil war, not in a fight that will tear apart Israeli society in the middle of a tough war. It’s possible to do it together,” Kisch said.

But that is actually what they are risking here – some kind of civil war, while they are already in a war.

While the military has said it is in dire need of more conscripts, ultra-Orthodox leaders see the exemptions as existential for preserving their traditions.

“There’s no judge there who understands the value of Torah study and its contribution to the people of Israel throughout the generations,” said ultra-Orthodox lawmaker Moshe Gafni, who heads the powerful parliamentary Finance Committee, referring to study of Judaism’s holy books.

Opposition parties welcomed the ruling.

“There’s nothing Jewish about dodging military service,” said opposition lawmaker and former defence minister Avigdor Lieberman.

The long-standing military waiver for the ultra-Orthodox has sparked protests in recent months by Israelis angry that they are shouldering the risk of fighting the war in Gaza. In city streets, ultra-Orthodox demonstrators have blocked roads under the banner “death before conscription.”

That sounds like civil war talk to me.

The waivers also have wider economic impact. The ultra-Orthodox make up 13% of Israel’s 10 million population, a figure expected to reach 19% by 2035 due to their high birth rates.

The conscription waiver keeps some of the community in seminaries and out of the workforce, hindering economic growth and placing a welfare burden on middle-class taxpayers.

Yeah, okay.

Well, the establishment of Israel meant that all of these Orthodox that were living in other Islamic countries had to move to Israel, because even though they weren’t really causing serious problems in Islamic countries, after Israel was created Jews were just getting attacked in the streets.

Most of them didn’t even want to move to Israel.

There are different kinds of Orthodox, and what I’m saying here doesn’t necessarily apply to all of them, but it definitely applies to some.

It’s a lot more complicated than most antisemites understand, and antisemites understand Jews a lot better than any other group of non-Jews.

Israel appears to be on a path to self-destruction.