All posts tagged: long-standing fault line

The Orthodox Exemption Could Break Netanyahu’s Coalition

The Orthodox Exemption Could Break Netanyahu’s Coalition

The most controversial Israeli comedy sketch of the current war is just 88 seconds long. Aired in February on Eretz Nehederet, Israel’s equivalent of Saturday Night Live, it opens with two ashen-faced officers knocking on the door of a nondescript apartment, ready to deliver devastating news to the inhabitants. The officers are greeted by an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man who is similarly stricken when he sees them. “I’ve been terrified of this knock,” he says. “Ever since the war began, I knew it would eventually come for me.” But before the pained officers can continue, he interjects: “Listen, there is no situation in which I will enlist—forget about it.” It turns out that the officers have the wrong address. This is not the home of a fallen soldier, but of one of the many thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews who do not serve in Israel’s army, thanks to a special exemption. As the officers depart to find the right family, the man calls after them, “Tell them that we prayed for him! We did everything we could.” …