There has been a controversy over the past few months whether or not to require all citizens to perform either military or civilian service.
All Jewish citizens of the State of Israel are required to do so – however, pople from the religious communities are exempt if they are engaged in religious studies.
Arabs in Israel can join the army but through different channels, and often do not.
For others who wish not to join the military, there is civilian services to the health care industry and municipalities one can carry out in lue of (and with the permission of, the military.
Yesterday a publication was released outlining penalties to those who do not serve the country – a report on what Israelis are calling “sharing the burden”.
Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu could make political gains by finding a solution to the issue of those who dodge the service of their country yet reap the social benefits form it.
The suggestions have included substantial fines and non-monetary penalties like the denial of National Insurance, a driver's license, the ability to studying at institutions of higher learning, and getting a job in Government agencies.
It's a highly charged issue here because of the overwhelming amount of people who do military service and follow their social obligations.
But with the growing number of people claiming religious exemption, many Israelis feel their country is losing it's balance and perspective on the society's good.
Middle East Correspondent