Service in Israeli Armed Forces

Close. More accurate: They believe that such study is so important in God’s eyes, that God will reward their study with peace and security, to a degree commensurate with their devotion and acts. In this light, they see themselves not as exempt from military service, but an active part of it, in the sense that the military wouldn’t be as effective without this help.

Yes. But similar things are done by small political voices in any government that needs swing votes.

It has always been applied and enforced only for those actively studying in such schools. But on a practical level, once someone reaches a certain age (and I don’t know what the cutoff is) he no longer needs this exemption because his age is enough to get him out of serving in the military. The numbers of people who leave school at this point are high enough to suggest that their main motivation was draft evasion rather than religious devotion, but is that much different than the American universities whose enrollment swelled during Vietnam?

The government IS currently trying to change the rules, but it is not because of a Supreme Court decision. It’s because many more people are using this exemption than in years past, and a growing portion of the country wants to put a cap on it.

IIRC only male Druze & Circassians are (at the request of their community leaders) subject to the draft; the only females subject to the draft are Jewish women (& they have more exemptions than men).

Supposedly Israeli sailors serving on submarines have to renounce any other citizenships they have for security reasons related to the nuclear weapons carried by the subs.

I am reminded that Jews could not join the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and foreigners could not become officers.

Most definitely off topic, but when I was in Israel, it was interesting to note the “uniforms” of female Israeli soldiers. Many wore their uniform pants as low-rise hip huggers, several were spilling out of their blouses, it was like a fashion show. This was in Tel Aviv. Is the idea that as long as they do their service, we don’t care what they look like (no or lax dress code) or is it just that the attitude is, “if they don’t like it, they cn kick me out”?

Jews (and Catholics, and nonconformists) couldn’t get commissions in the Royal Navy. However, there were Jewish sailors in the Royal Navy, and some who we know fought at Trafalgar…Benjamin da Costa on the Temeraire, Moses Benjamin and Joseph Moss on the Victory, Henry Levi, Benjamin Solomon, Joseph and Nathan Manuel on the Brittania, John Benjamin on the Royal Sovereign, Phillip Emmanuel on the Colossus, and Thomas and James Brandon on the Revenge.

I understand that even though technically not exempt, Tunisian Jews aren’t called for military service.

Honestly? It’s because they’re teenagers, and teenagers like to push boundaries.

It helps that dress codes are relatively lax compared to other military forces, and the fact that most disciplinary issues are handled in-unit - which means that if their direct commanders thinks soldiers are doing a good job, they’ll protect them from any MP bullshit.

Non Anglicans could not be officers in the English and British forces, until 1778 (Catholics) and early 19th century Jews and 1920’s, Indians and natives.

Thank you for fighting ignorance, gentlemen.

Interesting, thanks.

Yes, the Israeli government and earlier iterations of the Italian government were prime examples of how proportional representation hijacks government to the whims of minority parties that barely qualify for members in the legislature. OTOH, when you consider Washington, first-past-the-post probably doesn’t seem much better. Morsi in Egypt, for example, was a shining example of that problem - people fed up with Mubarak had a choice of an Mubarak holdover or a Muslim Brotherhood member in the run-off and had to choose from two bad choices. So both systems have shortcomings.

But, the problem in Israel was that parties focussed on limited interests got their way by trading the handful of votes for concessions.

From This:

14% exempt due to studying the Torah? Oy vey!


And the government has been wrestling with crafting a constitutional law since…

Is that not the same as parties in the US Congress adding amendments to get the other side to vote for them?

No, that’s done by congressmen - party of one. (or more logically, it goes to the highest bidder).

Don’t want to turn this into a proportional representation debate. I’m not saying either side is better or worse, both have their flaws. The flaw in the Israeli parliament that is most prominent is that small religious parties tend to have a singular focus, and less concern about the 360-degree plethora of problems that affect any modern society. (Think Tea Party too) They will trade their support to whoever satisfies their singular demands. In the Knesset, as I understood it, this translated into an exemption primarily for the people who were supporters of those parties. This is where and how an exemption for a few for religious studies turned into almost a blanket exemption of 14% of draftees.

(It also translated - if I read the news right - into the top decision-makers for religious issues being mainly very strictly orthodox rabbis appointed at the demand of these parties, excluding many of the reformed Rabbis until recently.)

It must depend on the infraction. My daughter tells me there were girls in her unit who did receive punishments, depending on how egregious the infraction was. I see that MPs hang around the major transportation hubs (bus stations in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and the Tel Aviv train stations), and I’ve seen them writing citations for the kids who had problems with dressing up to standard.