Yisrael Beytenu petitions High Court to stop extension on haredi draft bill

The deadline for the enlistment bill has been extended several times, the last extension occurring in early December, setting the current January 15 deadline.

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January 14, 2019 08:53
2 minute read.

Liberman attacks government for seeking extension on haredi enlistment bill, January 14, 2019 (Reuters/Facebook)

Liberman attacks government for seeking extension on haredi enlistment bill, January 14, 2019 (Reuters/Facebook)

 
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Yisrael Beytenu will file a petition to the High Court of Justice to prevent extension of the deadline for the enactment of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment bill on Monday. 

MK Oded Furer will submit a request on Yisrael Beytenu's behalf to present the party's formal opposition to the postponement of the legislation.

"The draft law drafted and brought to the Knesset by the Defense Ministry is the law that must be passed," said Furer, adding that "any attempt by the government to postpone the decision on this issue scorns and ridicules the defense establishment and the citizens of Israel serving in the IDF."

Former defense minister Avigdor Liberman fiercely criticized the government for seeking an extension to pass the haredi enlistment bill in a Facebook post earlier on Monday.

"There is no limit to the spins that the Netanyahu government is prepared to do in order to bring down the defense establishment's draft law in favor of the ultra-orthodox 'non-draft' law," Liberman wrote, accusing the government of trying to stall the bill.

The government asked the High Court of Justice for an extension to pass the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment bill earlier on Monday.

Should the High Court not grant the extension and the bill is not passed, the government would technically be forced to draft haredim en masse once the current deadline of January 15 passes.

In a letter to the Supreme Court, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for the extension, due to the difficulty of passing such a complicated law during election season.


"In order to allow the new government to be formed after the general elections, as well as for the 21st Knesset to address the complex issue... the honorable Court is asked to order an additional extension of the period of suspension of the absolute order to take effect on July 28, 2019, at the end of the first three months of the term of the 21st Knesset," the request reportedly says.

The letter also mentions the recommendation of Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to extend the deadline.

Liberman discarded the reasoning as an excuse, saying that "even during the election period, there is nothing to prevent this law [from passing], which received the blessing of the army and was approved by the Knesset."

"Everything is evasive; everything is a spin and just submission to the ultra-Orthodox," he added.

The deadline for the enlistment bill has been extended several times, with the last extension occurring in early December, setting the current January 15 limit.

Netanyahu and the coalition party heads called national elections in late December against the backdrop of the enlistment bill, citing a deadlock in negotiations on details of the bill and subsequently dissolving the Knesset.

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