Haredi IDF soldiers Tal Law 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout .)
The committee tasked with finding a replacement for the “Tal Law” met for the
first time on Monday, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu calling for justice
and equality in Israeli society.
“Time is short, and there is a lot of
work,” he said, quoting the Mishna. “We must make decisions, act and legislate
Netanyahu, together with Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz, pointed out
that the first item in the unity coalition agreement is to pass an alternative
to the Tal Law, which allowed yeshiva students to postpone IDF service
indefinitely and expires on August 1.
“We will bring a better and more
just solution than the Tal Law,” Netanyahu said. “This committee will work
toward four principles: Equality in the burden; gradual enactment; including
Jews and Arabs; and doing everything without inciting against any group in
Netanyahu said the committee would be called “Keshev,” a Hebrew
acronym for “promoting equality in the burden.”
Mofaz called the meeting
a historic moment, and an opportunity to change the face of
“Equality in the burden is essential, and the work of this
committee must be done in a way that all sectors of Israeli society will be
heard,” he said.
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The Kadima chairman explained that the committee would
propose a bill that includes civilian and military service, and said the work
must be done transparently to bring greater equality and unity.
Monday, Labor faction chairman Isaac Herzog called the Keshev Committee “one big
show that won’t result in anything.”
The Tal Law expires on August 1,
following a High Court of Justice verdict
from earlier this year forbidding the
Knesset from renewing it.
The Keshev Committee must complete its work –
making recommendations and drafting a bill – by the end of June, so the Knesset
has time to approve the new legislation before its summer recess begins on July
The committee is made up of experts, such as haredi lawyer Jacob
Weinroth and law Prof. Yedidya Stern, as well as representatives of
coalition factions, except for haredi parties United Torah Judaism and Shas,
which are boycotting the talks.
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