JERUSALEM (Jul. 5)
The Knesset rejected today an attempt by Knesset Member Shalom Cohen to have army service for new immigrants equalized with that of Israelis. Defense Minister Moshe Dayan accused Cohen of trying to stir hatred and resentment of immigrants among young Israelis. Cohen, who broke away from Uri Avneri’s Haolam Hazeh faction last year, claimed that it was intolerable discrimination for new immigrants to be allowed to serve shorter periods than settled Israelis.
Immigrant men have to serve from three to 18 months depending on their age and family status. They are then placed in the reserves along with other Israelis who must serve a three year term. Immigrants who have already served in the armed forces of their homelands are exempted from Israeli service and join the reserves immediately.