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
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
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
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
Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence Party would
prefer no bill be submitted, and that enlistment be left up to his ministry’s
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
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman slammed Ya’alon’s proposal in a
press conference on Wednesday, saying it “paraphrases the Tal Law.”
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
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,”
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
“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.
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