Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled Thursday that the Tal Law is unconstitutional and, as such, the Knesset will not be able to extend it in its present form.
The Tal Law, which allows full-time yeshiva students to defer national service, came into effect ten years ago, and requires that the Knesset begin discussing whether to extend it at least six months before it expires in August 2012.
The verdict was made with a majority of six High Court judges against three.
Following the verdict, Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed Tuesday evening that the Tal Law would expire in 2012.
Barak welcomed the verdict, saying “The Tal Law, after ten years, did not meet expectations, nor did it lead to the required changes in all aspects concerning equally sharing the burden and expanding the number of citizens who undertake the civilian obligations.”
The defense minister emphasized the urgency of passing a new law that would bring equality to sharing the burden in Israeli society.
MK Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said he welcomes the decision, adding that the Knesset now has “an historic opportunity to fix this demented law once and for all.” Fellow Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner also welcomed the decision, saying it will have “far reaching moral consequences on Israeli society and economy.”