Inside Story

Israel and the 'war on religion'

Will potential new legislation end Haredi Jews' special privileges or brew up a political firestorm?

Last updated: 03 Mar 2014 18:51
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Ultra-Orthodox Jews have made it clear that they are against a bill, due to pass in a few weeks, that would end the privilege of military exemptions for members of their community.

For many secular Jews, the Ultra-Orthodox population is seen as burdening the economy and benefiting from financial handouts, while avoiding military duties that bind others.

Haredi Jews insist their young men serve the nation through prayer and study, and that is why they should be excluded from certain aspects of life, and it is not just military service from which they are exempt. 

What does it mean to change the so-called secular-religious status quo in Israel? How risky will that be from a political point of view?

Presenter: Mike Hanna

Guests: Jonathan Rynhold, director of the Argov centre for the study of Israel and the Jewish people

Gidon Katz, a spokesman for the ultra-orthodox rally

Sarah Yael Hirschhorn, a lecturer on Israel studies at Oxford University


Al Jazeera
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