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Updated Jun 25, 2024, 7:34am EDT

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox conscription ruling is blow to Netanyahu

Ronen Zvulun/Reuters
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Israel’s Supreme Court ruled that ultra-Orthodox Jewish students must immediately be conscripted into the military, a decision that could lead to the collapse of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Students in religious seminaries have been exempt from conscription: Ultra-Orthodox groups in Israel have argued that joining the military would expose them to wider social contacts that might challenge their conservative beliefs.

The court ruling could be a serious blow to Netanyahu, who relies on two religious conservative parties for his political majority.

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He “sold his soul” to the religious right to avoid prison on corruption charges, Thomas Friedman wrote in The New York Times last week, and those extremists were already “eyeing their next moves for power” before this latest rupture.

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