Israel Blocks Top Scientist’s Committee Appointment Due to ‘Anti-Occupation Stance’

A leading Israeli brain scientist has been blocked from being appointed on a committee by the science and technology minister for signing a petition in support of Israeli youth who had refused to serve their military service in the occupied West Bank.

Professor Yael Amitai was supposed to be appointed to a German-Israeli scientific committee, but Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis blocked her appointment due to her stance against the illegal occupation of the West Bank, according to Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Ohad Yehezkeli, the minister’s media adviser, said

Israeli regulations dictate that when citizens reach 18 years of age, men must serve two years and eight months in the army, and women two years.

The issue of conscription has been an ongoing point of contention in Israel. In September, the exemption of the ultra-orthodox from the draft was ruled discriminatory and unconstitutional by the Israeli Supreme Court.

However, the current government continues to practice the Tal Law, which stipulates that citizens may postpone their military service if they are studying the Torah full-time, as Netanyahu relies on ultra-orthodox support to sustain his premiership.

Conscientious objectors, however, who refuse to serve on political or ideological grounds, are met with much more resistance from the Israeli authorities.

Source: Palestine Chronicle