Is This The End Of The Road For Netanyahu And The Charedi Parties?


JERUSALEM (VINnews) — Even though the war in Israel has done little to threaten Netanyahu’s government (which was even strengthened by the entry of some opposition leaders), the fiasco regarding the new draft law could spell the end of the current government, despite the inopportune timing for elections, according to a Times of Israel report.

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A nocturnal meeting on Tuesday night between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and representatives of United Torah Judaism and Shas, the coalition’s two charedi parties, over the terms of the new law ended without any operative agreement. The charedim attacked Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara, who refuses to defend the initial proposal of the government in court.

The Supreme Court ruled that the current system is discriminatory and has given the government until April 1 to present a bill and until June 30 to pass it.

As the deadline drew nearer, the government was set to meet on Netanyahu’s draft of the bill on Tuesday, but the meeting was pushed off amid an outcry over the proposal, which calls for raising the age of exemption to 35 or even 40. This would mean that many more charedim would not be able to work and earn a living due to not having completed army service. The law did not set quotas for charedi enlistment but did include a plan to establish charedi battalions in the IDF and add more positions in the emergency services.

After members of his government, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, expressed strong objections to the original plan, Netanyahu postponed the cabinet discussion on the issue and entered into marathon talks within his coalition on the controversial law.

Currently Netanyahu has promised the charedi MKs that he would submit a private bill to maintain the exemptions after the Pesach holiday but the MKs realize that this would not pass in the Supreme Court. The only other suggestion to be floated in the discussions was to ask the court for an extension to allow for the formulation of a law acceptable to all members of the coalition, including Benny Gantz and Yoav Gallant.

The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, which has petitioned the High Court of Justice to compel the enlistment of the ultra-Orthodox, accused the government of engaging in “the same shticks and tricks” by floating and then reversing a change to the age of exemption.

“Sharing the burden [of military service] equally is an existential necessity for the State of Israel and Israeli society, and there is no way to achieve it other than the enactment of a uniform and equal enlistment law that will apply to all,” the watchdog group said in a statement on Monday.

Channel 12 and Ynet reported on Tuesday that the attorney general had requested that recruitment target figures be included in the legislation, while chareidi parties have rejected that proposal.

UTJ reportedly threatened to leave the Netanyahu-led coalition should the proposal include annual recruitment targets for yeshiva students and financial penalties for charedi educational institutions that don’t meet those quotas.

According to Channel 12, UTJ’s ultimatum was the reason for the last-minute postponement of a cabinet meeting on the draft exemption law earlier in the day.

This week, dozens of commanders in the IDF reserves sent a letter to Netanyahu, Gallant and other senior officials warning that the current proposal for the draft bill will deepen inequality and harm national security.

The IDF’s plan to increase the time conscripts and reservists serve in the military, combined with the charedi enlistment law, which would allow most chareidi men to be exempt from military service, would create an “extremely unequal” situation, the commanders charged in their letter.

The commanders also warned that beyond the feeling of inequality, there were concerns that under the new proposal, “the reserve system will not be able to meet its requirements, to the point of difficulty in manning operations.”

“We demand from you, the people responsible by law and by virtue of your authority for our routine and emergency operation, to stand firm and prevent any discriminatory and offensive recruitment plan of this kind,” the commanders added.

Senior Finance Ministry officials also expressed opposition to the lack of personal financial sanctions in the government’s proposed draft, arguing that they would be ineffective in persuading yeshiva students to join the IDF.

According to Kan, ministry officials objected to financial penalties being placed on yeshivas that fail to meet whatever enlistment quota is ultimately approved instead of on individuals, and said that only personal sanctions would have the desired effect.

Since the beginning of the war in Gaza, the government has called up a total of 287,000 reservists, announced earlier-than-planned draft dates for some 1,300 members of pre-army programs, and pushed to significantly increase both conscripts’ and reservists’ periods of service.

That latter plan, presented by the defense establishment last month, generated fierce backlash among lawmakers from across the political spectrum and encouraged multiple legislative pushes to end the de facto exemptions for the charedim.

According to the IDF’s Personnel Directorate, some 66,000 young men from the Haredi community received an exemption from military service over the past year, said to be an all-time record.

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23 days ago

This is a debate that will never be resolved. I’m curious how this will unfold

23 days ago

This is not , what the country needs now, you don’t need the frumme in the army, by age 20 they have smoked and are terribly out of shape, allow them to work ,…and whoever wants to join on some level great…are you kidding watch these Gaza clips serious stuff , an avg bochur no shaychus

23 days ago

without the frum learning the Zionists have no zchusim otherwise what makes Israel any different from Thailand, we give these atheist secular toeiva parading, partying, swapping people a zchus. We will NEVER EVER serve in the IDF.