Sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu denied reports on Sunday that
he had already accepted Kadima’s departure from his national-unity coalition as
a fait accompli.
The reports emanated from a comment he made at Sunday’s
Likud ministerial meeting that his associates said had been
Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar said at the meeting that
“Kadima wants to break the partnership and is playing games.” Netanyahu
responded “there is a lot of truth in those words.”
A source close to
Netanyahu said the prime minister “was not showing Kadima the door.” Another
Netanyahu associate said the prime minister was indeed angry at Kadima for
playing politics instead of compromising but that he still had hope of
continuing the partnership.
“He is not trying to burn bridges,” the
Netanyahu associate said. “He did not build a coalition of 94 MKs in order to
burn bridges after two months. We won’t say we are optimistic but we are
Netanyahu warned the cabinet Sunday about “overreaching” and
advocated a gradual approach to drafting haredim.
“I believe this process
will only succeed if it is done gradually, but I want to say that the gradual
approach we are discussing is very ambitious,” he said.
Netanyahu, a number of years ago almost no haredim enlisted in the
“Last year that number stood at 2,400, and we are talking about
bringing the number to 6,000 within four years.”
proposals to immediately draft all 18-year old haredim as “overreaching,” and
said this may actually decrease the number of haredim going into the
These proposals, he said, “are perhaps good for headlines, but
it is doubtful if they are possible to implement.”
He said that it is
reasonable to think that the haredim would react to such proposals by refusing
to enter in the IDF even through the frameworks now available.
situation could be created that if we take too extreme a step, the number of
those going into the army and serving will decrease, rather than increase,” he
Netanyahu, who said he wanted to see more participation in the
IDF or national service by both haredim and Arabs, said this needed to be done
in a way that would not create major societal rifts.
Speaker Reuven Rivlin said on a visit to the Druse village Julis that he
recommends delaying a vote on an alternative to the Tal Law until after the next