JERUSALEM (AP) -- Israeli lawmakers passed a contentious law on Wednesday meant to draft ultra-Orthodox Jews into the military, culminating a reform drive that generated mass protests by the religious community in Israel and beyond.
The issue of conscription of the ultra-Orthodox is at the heart of a cultural war in Israel. The matter featured prominently in elections last year that led to the establishment of the center-right government, which has pushed for the new legislation.
Wednesday's vote passed 67-1 in the 120-member Knesset. Opposition lawmakers — all 52 of them — were absent, boycotting the vote to protest what they say are strong-arm tactics by the ruling coalition to push through a series of laws in parliament this week.
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