Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yoav Dudkevich, Reuters
L to R: Deri, Gafni, Litzman and Netanyahu
Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yoav Dudkevich, Reuters

PM, Haredi leaders to convene in attempt to resolve draft law crisis

In an attempt to resolve an ongoing crisis regarding IDF conscription that is threatening to tear the coalition apart and avoid snap elections, Netanyahu is set to convene with Haredi faction leaders, offer them compromise deal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Saturday at 9 pm local time with heads of the Haredi factions to discuss a solution to the draft law crisis, it was announce by the premier Friday.



Aside from United Torah Judaism heads Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman and MK Moshe Gafni and Shas leader Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, the meeting will also be attended by two members of the Likud—Tourism Minister Yariv Levin and Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Minister of Environmental Protection Ze'ev Elkin.


L to R: Deri, Gafni, Litzman and Netanyahu (Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yoav Dudkevich, Reuters)
L to R: Deri, Gafni, Litzman and Netanyahu (Photos: Alex Kolomoisky, Yoav Dudkevich, Reuters)

The crisis erupted in recent weeks when the Council of Torah Sages demanded that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman’s United Torah Judaism (UTJ) make his support for the 2019 state budget dependent on the passage of an amendment to the current conscription law that would solicit state recognition of Torah studies to being equal to military service.


The amendment Litzman is seeking to the current law would essentially facilitate exemption from military service for yeshiva students.


However, in a bid to mollify the intransigent position being taken by UTJ and avert the calling of snap elections, ministers gathered to come up with what could be an acceptable compromise amendment.


Defense Minister Lieberman (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Defense Minister Lieberman (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


On Friday morning, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman excoriated the newly formulated compromise amendment, saying it is not a compromise, but rather a "letter of surrender to an act of extortion."


He then promised that his own political party, "Yisrael Beytenu will support a bill only if it is drafted by the defense establishment and the IDF. On the matter of security there is no compromise."


The compromise that members of the coalition began fleshing out on Thursday includes alterations to the proposed amendment which was set to be discussed on Friday by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation.

The compromise is expected, inter alia, to include a quota of 3,800 Haredi conscripts into the military and the civil service which will rise each draft cycle.


In the event that the quota is not met, the law would require that sanctions be imposed on the yeshivas and it would expire every five years and need to be approved afresh. The sanctions currently being debated for failure to enlist, in the meantime, are strictly economic.


פרסום ראשון: 03.09.18, 22:49
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