Liberman at press conference in Beduin village of al-Zarnug .
(photo credit: Yisrael Beytenu)
Yisrael Beytenu's bill to replace the Tal Law, which would require service for all citizens at the age of 18, was voted down in the Knesset Wednesday by a vote of 74-20.
At a press conference afterwards, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman said that the vote had been a "litmus test for who believes in equality" in sharing the burdens of military service and citizenship.
Liberman thanked all of the Knesset members who voted for the bill, including four members of Kadima.
He also scolded the other 24 members of Kadima for not attending the vote.
Liberman characterized the Likud's bill to address the Tal Law controversy as just a "paraphrase" of the old law, without making any substantial changes.
The foreign minister added that the Likud's bill had no change of passing before August 1, when the old Tal Law expires according to an order of the High Court of Justice.
Liberman expressed hope that it would not garner a majority at any point.
He noted that as of August 1, all of the haredim could be recruited under the laws that were in place prior to the Tal Law and that it would be important to watch how Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the IDF handled the new authorities they would possess.
He also said that the real decision now on the Tal Law would be in October or November and that early elections were back in the air.