The deadlock in the overnight session of the Peri Committee, convened Sunday to vote on the different articles of the proposed outline for haredi enlistment, prompted Finance Minister Yair Lapid to issue an emphatic statement of intent Monday: "I want to be very clear about equal share of the burden. Either it happens or the government dissolves."
"From the outset Yesh Atid took upon itself to be the stable coalition partner," Lapid continued. "If anyone thinks I went into politics just to solve the financial catastrophe left by the previous government, then he doesn’t understand what we're doing here. Don't let my responsible conduct as finance minister lead you on: if you think Yesh Atid would retreat on the universal draft issue, you don't know and understand us."
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Lapid went on to argue that any attempt to undermine the Peri Committee to benefit the haredim would dismantle the coalition. "We will not sit in a government not willing to move on the issue of an equal share of burden. There is an historic opportunity to right an historic wrong, a bleeding wound in the heart of Israeli society. Whoever is out to compromise this opportunity in order to make political gains undercuts Israel, Zionism, the IDF and every young Israeli who has ever entered an induction center."
"I urge the coalition parties - especially the Likud Beitenu - to come to their senses and act in a manner appropriate for a ruling party, to stop this game. It does not cover any one of us in glory. It puts in peril the very existence of the government and especially it prevents the repair of historic injustice."
The Peri Committee deadlocked over a disagreement between committee chairman, Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri and Defense Minister Ya'alon, regarding the protocol for granting exemption from IDF service.
In a surprise move, Ya'alon demanded that the committee withdraw its proposal to obligate haredim to enlist after a three-year period and demanded that the issue be left to the defense minister's discretion
Members of the Yesh Atid party were outraged, saying Ya'alon's proposal effectively voids the universal enlistment principle. Peri and Ya'alon are set to meet Monday.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to calm the feelings running rampant across the political spectrum, speaking at a Likud Beitenu faction meeting: "We are facing a historic change. Pending the implementation of the law we shall witness many more headlines and crises, both imaginary and real. I'm sure you'll be able to find a solution to the few clauses remaining unresolved. There will be a law."
Opposition Leader Shelly Yachimovich (Labor) said at the start of a faction meeting,"We are in the middle of a battle after headlines, spin and deceptions. The new conscription law looks just like the Tal Law, but under worse conditions."
Yachimovich added, "The result will be less recruitment of haredim. Not only will enlistment not grow, it will stop completely.”
Economics Minister Naftali Bennett too addressed the issue at Habait Hayehudi faction meeting, saying "We're in the midst of an historical process toward an integration of the haredi sector within the military. I think these are natural birth pangs to a solution for a 65-year-old problem. We are heading toward the solution and disagreements are only natural, it can take another day, two or three, but in the end we'll reach a compromise. We'll find the formula."
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