Poll: 68% of Israelis against exempting ultra-Orthodox men from military service

Middle East Monitor  /  October 2, 2023

Most Israelis are opposed to ultra-Orthodox Jewish men being exempt from military service, a recent poll conducted by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) found.

Published last week, the poll found 68 per cent of the general public opposed granting an exemption for Haredim from military service.

The survey also found that around one-third of parents with children aged 16-18 said they would discourage their children from joining combat units.

The families, according to the survey, might ask their children not to attend military service entirely, according to the survey by the Tel Aviv University-based research institute.

Meanwhile, 25 per cent of the respondents said they supported the bill which placed exemption on Haredim joining the military, and seven per cent said they were not sure.

Through an arrangement established during the founding of the state, Haredi men have enjoyed a de facto exemption from the mandatory military or non-military service requirement that legally applies to all Jewish Israeli citizens. The arrangement for the men was based on the belief that Torah study had a value to the state equal, if not superior, to military service.

Recent governments have discussed reversing the exemption, leading to wide scale protests by Ultra-Orthodox Jews.