Yair Lapid leveled harsh criticism Thursday at the Plesner Committee, which is currently debating alternatives to the Tal Law for drafting haredim into the IDF, calling its apparent recommendations a "deception."
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The journalist-turned-politician, who heads the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party, said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "never intended to solve this burning national issue of equal distribution of the burden. He merely wants to appease his coalition partners and throw sand in the eyes of the public and the court."
According to reports, Netanyahu will object to levying personal sanctions on ultra-Orthodox who refuse to enlist in the army. The PM will also oppose setting a draft exemption quota, as proposed by the Plesner Committee.
It was further reported that the committee is expected to recommend that yeshiva students be allowed to receive an enlistment deferral for four years until age 22. By that age, they will likely be married with children, and would therefore earn NIS 5,000 (about $1,300) per month during their service, more than 10 times a typical draftee’s monthly salary.
The plan is supported by the committee members, Netanyahu and haredi representatives, but Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said the ultra-Orthodox would be too heavy a burden on the IDF if enlisted at the recommended age.
Lapid claimed the committee was succumbing to the PM's pressure. "As always, Netanyahu prefers little tricks and sectoral politics to a real solution of equal service for all," said the Yesh Atid leader.
"Raising the haredi enlistment age to 23 is not practically or economically feasible and would prevent the recruitment of haredim altogether. There is no other solution than eual service for all," he said.