Prime Minister Benjamin opposes criminal sanctions for haredi draft dodgers approved by his government, he said Friday in an interview on a haredi radio station.
Asked whether the haredi parties would be left outside the ruling coalition, as in the previous election, Netanyahu said it depended on the number of seats won by his party.
"The more we get – the more the danger of that will decrease," he said. "Everyone knows that this reality was forced on me in complete opposition with my view from the first.
We are one Israeli people. I think the whole issue of criminal sanctions that were imposed, they too by that same coalition, is something that should be done away with. A Jew should not have to go to prison for studying the torah."
Netanyahu also defended his decision to visit Washington and speak before a joint session of Congress next month, despite increasingly vocal opposition from the White House. "I am writing the speech," he said. "It is an important speech. I am going there to try and stop an agreement being formed that is very dangerous to Israel.
"We are on the eve of Purim, and we remember the attempts in Persia back then to destroy Israel. Today, in the same Persia, there is a regime that engraves the destruction of the Jewish state on its flag."