In a vote of 39-9 with one abstention, the Israeli Knesset passed a law stating that a prison term will apply to anyone who tries to dissuade Israeli Christians from serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
The sponsor of the bill, Member of Knesset Yoav Kish of the Likud party, said the measure intends to fight negative social pressure against Christian Arabs who choose to enlist in the military. While Jewish Israelis are required to serve in the IDF, Israelis of other faiths enlist voluntarily.
Israel’s penal code already stipulates a term of three to 15 years for anyone who convinces Jews against IDF enlistment, or tries to persuade or help a soldier to leave the military. But the new bill will apply the same punishment for anyone helping or persuading volunteer soldiers to do the same.