The Knesset held a heated debate last week when MK Yisrael Hasson (Kadima) and MK Moshe Matlon (Yisrael Beiteinu) tried to raise a bill that would harm the status quo on the issue of drafting girls into the army.
The brunt of the wrath was directed toward Matlon, whose party is obligated to abide by coalition agreements, which include not altering the status quo on religious matters.
The two MKs claimed some young women submit false declarations regarding their religious observance in order to receive an exemption from military duty. They argued a law should be added requiring that in order to receive an exemption a girl must have studied at a religious institution for two of the three years preceding the declaration.
UTJ and Shas MKs took a firm stand against the proposed legislation, which would have made it harder for some girls, especially girls from traditional homes, to receive an exemption. They demanded the government and the coalition vote against the law and remove it from the Knesset agenda immediately. Because of the tsnius nature of the issues involved, the position of the chareidi community has always been that the exemption from army service for women should be as broad as possible. This is in distinction from the exemption for men, which only applies to those who are learning full time.