Muslims and Christians must also serve in IDF


It was not right that the attention of the Tal Law’s cancellation has all been focused on the ultra-Orthodox community’s absence from the IDF, while the Muslim and Christian community has been effectively disregarded; equality is indivisible. By Moshe Arens If you’re an Israeli citizen who is ultra-Orthodox, Muslim or Christian, you’re exempt from sharing the burden of the country’s defense with your fellow citizens who are Jewish or Druze. There is no discrimination here – these religious communities are equal when it comes to not defending the country. To be precise, not quite all. The young men of the small Circassian community residing in Kafr Kama and Reikhaniya in the Galilee, although Muslims, are obligated to do compulsory military service. They are the exception.

The wording of the Supreme Court ruling invalidating the Tal Law – which allowed full-time yeshiva students to defer army service – may have had great significance to members of the legal profession. They surely understood when the judges called the law unconstitutional and not proportional. For the rest of us, there was no need for this legalese. We knew all along that it was just not right – that the burden of defense was not being shared equally among all its citizens regardless of their religious affiliation.

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