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Netanyahu's moment of truth
Op-ed: High Court's ruling on Tal Law will force PM to do what scares him most – make a decision

The decision has been made Tuesday evening: The High Court of Justice annulled the Tal Law, which will expire in August. Or in other words, the High Court decided that we shall go to elections this year.

 

This is a simple matter; one need not be a political genius to understand it: The High Court has now forced Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to come up with a genuine solution to the problem of drafting the haredim into the IDF.

 

In order to come up with such solution, the prime minister needs the government’s agreement. However, PM Netanyahu does not have a coalition that can agree on a solution, especially when the scent of elections is in the air.

 

In fact, with the exception of a secular government that will not include Shas, no such government exists in Israel.

 

Bibi facing catch 22 situation

So on one hand we may be able to say that Netanyahu was spared: The High Court took the chestnuts out of the fire for him and forced him to present an alternative arrangement that will replace the Tal Law.

 

Otherwise, Netanyahu would have said that there is no time to come up with a new law and that this matter is too serious to handle rashly, thereby extending the Tal Law until the next elections. The ones who would have gained from this are Avigdor Lieberman, Yair Lapid, and possibly Kadima as well.

 

However, on the other hand, the prime minister is facing a catch 22 situation: Should he produce a real arrangement for drafting yeshiva students, his haredi partners will not accept this, especially on the eve of the elections. However, should he fail to present such arrangement, he will get into trouble vis-à-vis his other partners: Lieberman, Barak, and even senior Likud figures such as Moshe Ya’alon.

 

Or in other words: This is going to be PM Netanyahu’s moment of truth. He will have to make a decision – and there is nothing that scares Netanyahu more than that.

 

 

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