Crisis or negotiating tactic? After it appeared that the team appointed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to devise an alternative to the Tal Law had completed its task, Kadima claimed on Wednesday that after meeting with MK Yohanan Plesner and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, Netanyahu went back on all the agreements reached thus far on the number of draft exemptions haredim were to be allowed and the issue of personal responsibility for draftees.
Plesner announced that he was withdrawing from the talks, whereas Ya'alon updated the prime minister about the dead end. Meanwhile, Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz will convene party members to dicuss crisis.
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The bill that is being written to replace the Tal Law, codifying drafting haredim into the IDF, was supposed to be brought before the Ministerial Committee for Legislative Affairs on Sunday, but it seems tha the issues in question may have to be resolved between Netanyahu and Mofaz.
Plesner (right) and Ya'alon (Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO)
Sources close to the committee said that starting Tuesday, notable differences had opened up between the sides, who weren't even reaching agreement on fundamental principles of the law on which there had seemed to be consensus.
Kadima sources said that this was the biggest crisis since the Plesner Committee was dissolved a week ago and blamed the prime minister for going back on agreed-upon points regarding the draft age, exemption quotas, and personal and community sanctions for draft-dodgers. According to Kadima, all the most important points of the law had been rejected.
On Tuesday evening, after meeting with Plesner, Ya'alon updated Netanyahu on the negotiations' progress, and it appeared that things were on the right track to coalesce a bill to be brought to the Knesset next week.
Whether this is a negotiating tactic or a true breakdown, Kadima is claiming that Netanyahu is not interested in presenting a decision to the cabinet next week and therefore torpedoed the talks.
Last Sunday, the Likud faction approves five basic principles from the Plesner Committee, including personal responsibility for haredi draft-dodgers; universal draft; and sanctions against institutions that encourage draft-dodging. After approving these points, the Likud said that the only part of the Plesner Committee's recommendations it did not accept was the idea of drafting Israeli Arabs.
Moran Azulay contributed to this report
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