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Gantz to form committee to consider universal conscription reform

16 10 18

Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Thursday announced plans to form a committee later this month to consider how to reform the country’s conscription as only roughly half of potential recruits actually enlist in the military after high school.

“After the Sukkot holiday, we will form a government committee dedicated to the reformation of national and state service, which I have been working on and which the defense establishment has been working on for over a year,” Gantz said during a meeting with religious soldiers in honor of the week-long festival.

Gantz and the director-general of his ministry, Amir Eshel, have both come out in favor of a universal national service model to replace the current system, which exempts Arab Israelis and nearly all ultra-Orthodox Israelis from having to perform either military or civil service.

Gantz said this reform is necessary in order to both preserve the Israel Defense Forces as a “people’s army,” in which every citizen regardless of background is expected to serve, and to strengthen the country in general.

“With the foundation of the country, the IDF was also founded and conscription was required of everyone. Today, 73 years later, when only half of 18-year-olds enlist and when the country has gone from a policy of a melting pot to a nation of ‘all........

© The Times of Israel

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