This week's High Court of Justice decision affords the state and the IDF the opportunity to reorganize army service across the board. Defense Minister Ehud Barak has lately been talking about a model that makes a lot of sense: Everyone will be obliged to enlist, but the IDF will have the option of choosing those it truly needs for full service. The others will do abridged national service (firefighting, police, emergency ambulance service) or community work (assistance to the elderly, etc.).
According to Barak, the solution to the problem of discrimination that will arise - in terms of the length and difficulty of each type of service - will be found in the new quid pro quo: Soldiers, and particularly those in combat units, will receive, beginning in their second year of service, a salary that is close to the minimum wage. The money will be held for them until their discharge, at which time they will be able to use it for professional training or studies.