Haredi soldier 311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
MKs on different sides of the political spectrum on Tuesday criticized the
membership of the committee meant to compose an alternative to the “Tal
Maverick Shas MK Haim Amsalem said Shas and United Torah Judaism
were wrong to boycott the efforts, while MK Nitzan Horowitz (Meretz) called for
more secular representation.
Both MKs asked to present their proposals
for universal army service to the committee.
On Monday, Shas and United
Torah Judaism announced that they will not participate in the discussions on a
replacement for the law that allowed yeshiva students to indefinitely defer
military service, which will no longer be valid on July 30.
Jacob Weinroth, an attorney who served on the Tal Committee, was asked to voice
the haredi position to the committee. A Shas spokesman said that, while Weinroth
does not officially represent the party, its leaders trust him.
slammed the haredi parties for boycotting the committee, saying that they are
betraying “true learners of Torah” and the “higher interest” of national
“I call for the heads of parties composing the new law for
equality in the burden to listen to the voice of the silent haredi majority that
wants to be part of society and carry the burden, and not to extremists
representing narrow interests and seeking to leave their voters weak, hated and
dependent,” Amsalem said.
According to the Am Shalem leader, Shas is
taking advantage of its political power while tricking its voters – most of whom
are Zionists who serve in the IDF and work – to serve extreme Ashkenazi
Amsalem also requested to be a member of the committee, saying
that as a haredi rabbi, he can help find a solution that will be acceptable to
Meanwhile, Horowitz asked Netanyahu to allow him to join the
committee and present his proposal to replace the Tal Law.
the burden of service is an extremely important public issue,” the Meretz MK
explained. “In this spirit, I proposed a civilian service bill, which is
balanced, equal and the most comprehensive of all the legislation on this topic
that were submitted to the Knesset.”
According to Horowitz, this matter
cannot be dealt with “in the gates of one political camp,” and the opposition
must be represented as well.
“A one-sided, limited discussion cannot
bring forward a worthy arrangement,” he added.
Horowitz called for
secular organizations to be represented in the committee, in addition to
religious groups – though MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima), who will head the
committee, is secular – and said his testimony will fix its “distorted” make-up.