Netanyahu threatens elections if ultra-Orthodox won’t compromise on draft bill

PM indicates he's fed up with impasse over recruitment of yeshiva students; gives Haredim 3 weeks to figure it out

Yaakov Litzman, Head of United Torah Judaism party

Times of Israel writes, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told fellow coalition party leaders Sunday that if the ultra-Orthodox parties don’t compromise on a military draft law within the next three weeks, he will call early elections, likely to be held early in 2019. ‘We have to know where [United Torah Judaism party head Yaakov] Litzman stands on the draft issue,’ Netanyahu told the top ministers. ‘The ball is in Litzman’s court. If the ultra-Orthodox parties want to reach a compromise, we can get through this. We have to find out if they want that.’”

“At the meeting, those in attendance — including Jewish Home chief Naftali Bennett, Kulanu leader Moshe Kahlon, Shas’s Aryeh Deri and UTJ MK Moshe Gafni representing the party — agreed that if an agreement could not be reached on the draft bill by the next cabinet meeting, then that meeting will set the date of the next election. The next cabinet meeting is set for the beginning of September”….

soldiers of the IDF’s ultra-Orthodox Netzah Yehuda Battalion

“Last September, the High Court ruled that a 2015 version of Israel’s draft law granting most yeshiva students draft exemptions was unconstitutional, and gave lawmakers a year to institute new guidelines for ultra-Orthodox enlistment. But the Knesset concluded its spring session on July 19, and will not reconvene for the fall session until mid-October. Without the amended legislation in place, current deferral regulations would expire with the deadline and thousands of yeshiva students would find themselves unable to renew their deferments, making them eligible to be drafted by the IDF.” (more…)


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