Plesner-Ya'alon talks on Tal Law break down

Kadima MK says "we have reached a dead end," accusing Vice Premier Ya'alon of wanting to create a "copy of the Tal Law."

July 11, 2012 15:03
2 minute read.
Orthodox man talks with soldiers.

Orthodox man talks with soldiers. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)


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MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima) walked out on talks with Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon about a universal service bill on Wednesday, when the two sides were unable to reach agreements on key issues.

“We have reached a dead end,” Plesner said.

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After Plesner and Ya’alon discussed and agreed on enlistment quotas and personal sanctions for those who do not join the IDF or do national service, the Likud minister presented a different stance in a Wednesday-afternoon meeting.

A Kadima source, while unable to specify the changes Ya’alon requested, said they would turn the bill into “a copy of the Tal Law,” which allowed haredim to indefinitely postpone service, and make it “empty of content.”

Ya’alon’s office declined to comment at this stage.

Meanwhile, Vice Premier and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz called an faction meeting. 

Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich urged Mofaz to announce in the Kadima faction meeting that his party will immediately quit the coalition, "and stop the political farce surrounding the Tal Law, which will not yield real results even if a new law is passed."

"Elections should be held in September and this was avoided just because of a political exercise of survival and noe we have to go to the public and let it have its say in a wide range of significant issues in Israeli society," Yechimovich stated.

Previously, on Monday, coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin had told reporters at the Knesset that Netanyahu would succeed in passing the proposal being drafted to equalize the burden of IDF service while keeping his 94-MK coalition intact.

United Torah Judaism had threatened to leave the coalition over the issue, and Shas had expressed similar thoughts.

They were waiting to see what would be in the final bill drafted by Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner, which, until the latest crisis, had been expected to be completed by Wednesday night and brought to a vote in the cabinet Sunday.

The legislation had been scheduled to have its first reading in the Knesset on Monday and its final readings by the end of the month.

“I don’t expect problems passing it,” Elkin said at the time. “UTJ and Shas are sending messages to us not to count on them leaving, because they don’t want Kadima taking their portfolios."

"UTJ has a real case to justify leaving the coalition, because the agreement not to change the status quo on matters of religion and state has been violated – but if UTJ or Shas leave, they are making a mistake, because we will have a secular coalition,” said Elkin.

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