The Cabinet Legislation Committee approved a bill proposed by Likud Beiteinu MK Yariv Levin to provide benefits to veteran IDF soldiers, national service volunteers, and families of fallen soldiers. A similar law was revoked in the 1970s after it was seen as discriminatory towards Arab citizens. The new law states that benefits offered “will not be seen as discriminatory against those not eligible for these benefits.”
The primary difference between the current law and its predecessor is that it would not see Arab citizens lose any existing rights. The previous law removed child allowances from families that did not serve. The current law will confer preferential status to veterans applying to higher education, government jobs and land purchase lotteries. It will also allow those veterans to be offered higher salaries.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the proposal. Meretz MK Zahava Gal-On rejected the bill, maintaining that it is still discriminatory, calling the law “racist” and comparing it to the recent discrimination uncovered at Superland. Although in principle favouring benefits to veterans, MK Gal-On stated that she could only support a proposal that would not leave Arab citizens worse-off because of it.
MK Yariv dismissed her claims. “The goal of the law is to ensure that whoever gives to their country gets the benefits they deserve,” he said.