Interior Minister Eli Yishai said Thursday that "The government will have to extend Tal Law until alternative legislation regulating yeshiva students' military service is drafted, with the collaboration of the Defense, Justice and Finance ministries."
Yishai's comment was reportedly made following a "lengthy conversation" with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- FM: Attempts to extend Tal Law pointless
- High Court rules against extending Tal Law
Lapid: Shas controls Israel
The High Court's decision to annul the law was widely denounced by the religious parties. On Wednesday, the Knesset voted down two bills meant to regulate military, national and civic service for all Israelis.
Shas' chairman noted that it is the Treasury that is preventing the draft of ultra-orthodox youths because of budget considerations. Yishai said that there are currently hundreds of haredim who are more than interested in performing National Service, but are turned down due to lack of positions.
Yishai hedged that since approving new legislations takes time, Tal Law will be extended by at lease one year – possible until after the next general elections – despite the court's ruling.
"Unfortunately, the haredim have become the victims of politicians vying in primaries… The haredi public will not yield to such political whims. The majority of the Israeli public values those studying the Torah," he said.
Legal experts told Ynet that Yishai's conjecture was wrong and criticized him for discounting the High Court of Justice: "It's inconceivable that a minister will speak put against a ruling by the High Court to the extent of saying that the government will not uphold it.
"A ruling by the High Court of Justice is binding and there is no way that the government will ignore it an extend Tal Law."
- Receive Ynetnews updates
directly to your desktop