A replacement for the “Tal Law” can only be found in cooperation with the haredi
(ultra-Orthodox) community, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on
Speaking at the Bar Association Conference in Eilat, Rivlin said
that “haredim and Arabs are no longer minorities and cannot be treated as
such. Together they are about 30 percent of Israel’s
Rivlin called for haredim to be viewed as equal
While it used to be possible to exempt them from military
service, he said, it cannot be done anymore.
At the same time, Rivlin
expressed concern that the unity coalition would try to force a new law on
haredim, saying such a move would be undemocratic and put Israel’s delicate
social fabric in danger.
On Monday, the Keshev Committee (keshev is an
acronym for the Hebrew phrase “promoting equality in the burden”) which is meant
to draft a law requiring all citizens to serve, held its first meeting in the
Haredi parties are boycotting the discussions.
Likud and Yisrael Beytenu could form a secular coalition on their own and run
the country as they see fit, even without the support of Shas or United Torah
Judaism,” the Knesset speaker pointed out. “However, forcibly passing the law
through such a broad coalition will lead to a situation in which there will be a
law, formally, but it will not be smart or practical.”
Committee cannot ignore the haredi stance, and will only succeed if it reaches
an agreement with them, Rivlin added. The state cannot afford to put thousands
of yeshiva students in prison if they refuse to serve.
At the same time,
Rivlin said haredi leadership cannot continue to have a “passive stance on the
fate of the State of Israel,” and must take responsibility and share the
“It will be difficult to explain how a haredi minister can be a
partner in a government that decides to go to war, without his children or his
voters feeling the repercussions of this decision,” he stated.
addition, Rivlin called on the government to give incentives for yeshiva
students to enter the workforce, and make sure that even those who do not enlist
in the IDF or do civilian service can be employed, in order to “break the haredi
cycle of poverty and welfare.”
Rivlin also read a letter from a haredi
law student saying that firms discriminate against him, and called for lawyers
to hire ultra-orthodox interns.
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