Monday, July 02, 2012

Tal Law Coalition Trouble

Back in May, Shaul Mofaz led Kadima into Benjamin Netanyahu's governing coalition despite promising not to in his campaign for the Kadima leadership.  The official reason was a desire to work together to replace the Tal Law, which exempts Haredi yeshiva students from Israel's national service requirement and which the supreme court had ruled unconstitutional.  Now, however, Netanyahu has disbanded the committee tasked with proposing changes, and Mofaz is threatening to return to opposition:
"Netanyahu angered Mofaz when he released a statement announcing that the Keshev Committee had been scrapped moments after Mofaz praised the committee’s work at a Knesset press conference. In a brief conversation before the press conference, the prime minister asked Mofaz to help him dismantle the committee but Mofaz said no...
"Sources close to the prime minister countered by saying that Yisrael Beytenu, Habayit Hayehudi and haredi representative Jacob Weinroth leaving the committee over the past week removed its legitimacy and any chance of its findings passing in the Knesset. They said it would be better for Netanyahu to start over, meet with all the parties in the coalition personally and help them find common ground.
"In his statement, Netanyahu warned the haredim that if a compromise is not reached by August 1, when the Supreme Court ruled the Tal Law will be canceled, the IDF will be free to begin drafting yeshiva students."
Netanyahu has called for both Haredi and Arabs to start performing national service, which in practice means military service.  The Haredi have vowed to keep their privileges, arguing that Torah study is vital to national identity.  Critics say that by dissolving the committee shortly before it delivers its recommendations, Netanyahu has shown that he is more interested in dragging out the process as a means of holding into the status quo and ensuring that the Haredi parties won't turn against him after the next elections.



Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home