Court orders halt to state payments to haredi yeshivas

Haredim at IDF recruitment office at Tel Hashomer  credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Haredim at IDF recruitment office at Tel Hashomer credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit

The High Court of Justice found that from April 1 there will be no legal basis for payments to yeshivas where students are not conscripted into the IDF.

The High Court of Justice has issued an interim order to halt state payments to yeshivas (institutions of rabbinic studies) where students are not conscripted into the IDF from April 1. The judges did not issue transitional orders that would allow time to prepare for the ending of the payments, on the grounds that there was no legal source for such payments, since the validity of the government’s decision on the matter, number 682, expires on April 1, and that a transitional arrangement was contrary to the stance of the Attorney General.

Judges Uzi Vogelman, Yitzhak Amit, and Noam Sohlberg cited the position of the Attorney General that "in the absence of a normative basis from April 1, 2024 for non-conscription of yeshiva students and graduates of haredi institutions of learning, there will no longer be any authority for transferring financial aid to these institutions."

The judges said that petitions against the interim injunction would be heard in May 2024 by a panel of nine judges, and gave the government until April 30 to respond.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked the court for an extension of thirty days to resolve the issue of conscription and budgets for the yeshivas. "In recent weeks we have made an intensive effort to formulate the required arrangement, and considerable progress was achieved, although the work was not completed. A further short period is required to finalize the arrangement, to complete the work of the professional staff, to determine the tracks and frameworks that will enable those conscripted to maintain their way of life during their service, and to ensure that those for whom ‘the Torah is their vocation’ will be able to study Torah.

"The issue of equal sharing of the burden is of supreme importance to Israeli society and its future. The government’s intention of resolving this complex matter, which has remained unresolved for decades, is expressed in the fact that the government undertook in June last year to regularize the matter within nine months. Only the time that was actually available to us was just three months. The wicked attack on Israel on October 7 obliged us to devote the resources of time and attention mainly to the conduct of the war in the six months since then."

Responding to the High Court of Justice ruling, Shas leader Aryeh Deri said, "The injunction that the High Court of Justice gave to stop the budgets of the yeshivas immediately is a mark of Cain and unprecedented abuse of those who study Torah in the Jewish state." Deri said that haredim who do currently enlist in the IDF would no longer do so because of the court’s decision.

National Unity party leader Benny Gantz said, "The issue is not the High Court of Justice, and not the Attorney General, who does her job faithfully, but our need for soldiers in a tough war, and the need of our society that everyone should take part in the privilege of serving the country. The High Court of Justice ruled today what is self evident. The time has come for the government to do what is self-evident. This is the time for deeds."

Published by Globes, Israel business news - - on March 28, 2024.

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd., 2024.

Haredim at IDF recruitment office at Tel Hashomer  credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Haredim at IDF recruitment office at Tel Hashomer credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
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