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Lieberman proposes requiring army or national service for diplomats

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JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israel’s foreign minister proposed that only Israelis who serve in the military or complete national service be eligible to become diplomats.

Avigdor Lieberman proposed a new regulation Monday that would only allow Israelis who completed army or national service to apply for the foreign ministry’s prestigious cadet program, according to Israeli media reports. 

"Anyone who wants to represent the country in the outside world must take part in our obligations," Ha’aretz quoted Lieberman as saying during a Foreign Ministry administrative committee meeting.

The regulation would prevent most Israeli Arabs and fervently Orthodox Jews from becoming foreign diplomat trainees, since they do not serve in the army and usually avoid national service.

There are currently at least five Israeli Arabs serving as diplomats.

Israeli law requires that all citizens have equal access to civil service positions. Lieberman reportedly has said he will work to change the law to pass his regulation.

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