Jerusalem – Haredi Enlistment Will Not Reach Knesset This Summer


    An ultra orthodox Jew is standing next to the army recruiting office in Jerusalem. Photo by Uri Lenz/FLASH90Jerusalem – Vice Premier Moshe Ya’alon’s proposal to replace the “Tal Law” will not be brought to a vote in the Knesset, Likud sources said on Wednesday, as Yisrael Beytenu’s bill on the topic was voted down.

    According to Ya’alon’s outline, which will be brought for ministerial approval on Sunday, haredim will receive incentives to enlist in the IDF between the ages of 18 and 22.

    Those who do not will be required to do civilian service by age 26 for the police, Prisons Service, Magen David Adom or Fire and Rescue Services.

    There will be sanctions against those who do not perform military or civilian service, as well as their yeshivot. The state will take yeshiva students’ biometric IDs to keep track of whether anyone is shirking their duties.

    The goal of Ya’alon’s outline is for 6,000 yeshiva students to enlist each year by 2016. Currently, 2,400 enlist in the IDF or perform civilian service annually.

    Speaking in the plenum Wednesday, Ya’alon criticized those who seek to “light a bonfire.”

    “Whoever thinks that after 64 years [of the state’s existence] we can make a change all at once is wrong, and I suspect there are ulterior motives behind his actions,” the vice premier said in a thinly-veiled reference to Kadima. “They are trying to create hatred between groups in society.”

    Ya’alon said the previous status quo will no longer exist, but it is important to consider the religious customs and uniqueness of the ultra- Orthodox and the Arabs.

    His plan is expected to be brought to a ministerial vote on Sunday, but it is unlikely to be ready in bill form in time to be brought to the Knesset next week, when the summer legislative session ends.

    While a Shas source said the party “can live” with Ya’alon’s proposal, it would vote against it in the Knesset, as will United Torah Judaism.

    Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence Party would prefer no bill be submitted, and that enlistment be left up to his ministry’s discretion.

    Yisrael Beytenu opposes the outline because it does not call for haredi and Arab enlistment at age 18. In the opposition, several Kadima MKs may vote in favor of the bill, but not enough of them for it to pass.

    Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed Ya’alon’s proposal in a press conference on Wednesday, saying it “paraphrases the Tal Law.”

    On Wednesday, Yisrael Beytenu’s bill calling for service for all at age 18 was rejected with 74 opposed and 20 in favor.

    Five Kadima MKs – Orit Zuaretz, Yoel Hasson, Marina Solodkin, Robert Tibayev and Yuval Zellner – rebelled against their party line to vote with Liberman’s party. Four more abstained.

    Soon after, Liberman thanked the Kadima MKs, calling them “righteous men in Sodom,” adding that the vote was “a litmus test for those who believe in equality in the burden.”

    “I hear that reporters expect us to leave the coalition. They’ll be just as successful waiting for the Messiah,” Liberman quipped.

    The foreign minister pledged that his party would continue working under the slogan “no citizenship without loyalty,” which includes equality in the burden.

    Liberman expressed hope that after August 1, the Defense Ministry will draft all haredim, but said he expects the “real decisions” to be made when the Knesset is back in session in October.

    “This will be an opportunity not just to talk about equality, but to implement it,” he stated. “What the Knesset did not do today, I hope reality will do in its next session.”

    The Yisrael Beytenu leader also warned that the latest date for elections is October 22, 2013, which means an “election year” will begin soon, and the party will campaign heavily for equality in the burden of service.

    Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

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