No right

The situation of the draft of Yeshiva students to the IDF in Israel, just got a little more interesting (and heated). This, from Ynet:

High Court decides to cut funding for draft-dodging yeshiva students

Grants for yeshiva students whose enlistment to IDF was delayed by defense minister to stop, High Court of Justice rules

In a dramatic decision Tuesday, the High Court of Justice, composed of nine justices – with a majority of eight to one – issued an interim order forbidding the government from funding yeshiva students whose draft date was delayed.

The decision applies to yeshiva students aged 18 to 20, who were served with enlistment orders beginning in August 2013 and have not reported at the recruitment center because of Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s decision to delay the draft date because “the question of jurisdiction over them is doubtful.”

The demographic consists of yeshiva students born in 1994, 1995, and the first half of 1996.

As you can imagine, that went down well in certain quarters:

According to MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism): “There has not been one time that the court helped the haredim. Cutting funding for yeshivot is a severe escalation, a declaration of war on the haredi public in Israel and abroad.”

Then, there’s this:

He added: “The yeshiva funding is given as a right and not as charity, and should not be conditioned on enlistment or any other stipulation. Like all citizens of Israel we are entitled to funding, just as tax money and American financial aid is directed towards cultivating the arts, sports, and activities that are often times against the state – even though the yeshiva funding is given to institutions which hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens see as the prime direct of the Jewish people, learning Torah.”

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is at the core of the problem.

The religious parties see that funding as a right. But it is not a right.

The sooner there is a level playing field in this arena, the better for all of Israel. And all includes the yeshivah students.