Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
may have shifted the coalition talks into high gear, but it seems to have little effect on the bickering between the religious parties and Yesh Atid, over the latter's demand for the implementation of the haredi draft.
Wednesday's plenum session saw United Torah Judaism
Chairman MK Yakov Litzman berate the centrist party, saying that "The religious sector protects Israel's core and it's your job to help it. Get used to it."
Speaking of the demand for the annulment of the exemption given to yeshiva students from IDF
service, Litzman said: "Many have tries this before and have failed. You too will fail. The United Torah Judaism will not compromise on the matter."
The acting deputy health minister further dismissed the demand to force the religious community's youth to enlist, saying that if Yesh Atid "bothered to look at the data, you would be surprised at how many want to perform National Service."
Yesh Atid's number two, Knesset Member Shay Piron gave his first Knesset speech earlier in the day, choosing a more appeasing tone.
"It is time that we instill a change in hoe Judaism perceives itself," he said. "Profound Judaism cannot rely on charity… but should instead strive to change its sphere. It's time for true Judaism to be redeemed.
"Unfortunately, the image of the Torah as a source for justice and inspiration, as a source of moral and value of one's being, has been eroded," he said.
Piron urged all Knesset parties to "Change the discourse surrounding religion and keep up with the time. We have to reintroduce the dimension of spiritual freedom to the religious discourse and free faith of what has been paralyzing it – and causing it to paralyze others – due to ancient agreements."
He concluded: "It's time to reevaluate the status-quo and work together to carve the identity of the nation."
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