Last week, Israel’s Supreme Court struck down the Tal Law, which grants ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students an exemption from military service. The Court’s decision raises questions about whether Haredim will serve in the army in large numbers. In an op-ed in Haaretz, IDI Senior Researcher Yair Sheleg argues that there will not be conscription equality in the near future but the process of integrating Haredim (and Arabs) into national service is a worthy goal.
The ruling should also be welcomed because of the judges' readiness to show clear judicial activism. It is true that judicial activism, especially when it relates to invalidating laws, is extremely problematic, but it is completely justified when referring to so blatant a case of discrimination. In this case, the High Court took upon itself the task of being the "decisive weapon" of the camp that serves, and in this way has created a balance of terror to counter the political "decisive weapon" of the ultra-Orthodox public . . .
Yair Sheleg is a Research Fellow at the Israel Democracy Institute.