Gantz hints disapproval of draft bill

Netanyahu publicly throws his support behind legislation on ultra-Orthodox conscription.

February 23, 2014 22:24
1 minute read.
Haredi men in Jerusalem

Haredi men in Jerusalem 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem / The Jerusalem Post)


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Benny Gantz appeared to express his displeasure with the ultra-Orthodox enlistment legislation that is in the process of being passed by the Knesset in a briefing for reporters Sunday on the Golan Heights.

Gantz said that the IDF presented its position to the special Knesset committee on the issue led by Bayit Yehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked. The committee did not accept the IDF’s request to make up for shortening the service of women by significantly extending the service of Hesder yeshiva students.

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“The IDF presented the committee a clear plan for universal and equal service, in which if service for some was shortened, service for others would be lengthened,” he said. “We present our professional evaluations in a firm manner to the members of the committee.

The MKs heard our truth.

We don’t get to vote.”

When asked if he was disappointed, Gantz said it was not his role to express such feelings, but rather to take the decisions of the political echelon and implement them the best way possible.

“This is the way it is when you live in a democratic country,” he said.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has taken a distinctly low key approach to the battle over the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment bill, publicly threw his support behind it during Sunday’s cabinet meeting.

“Two years ago I said that we would submit a law that would increase equality in sharing the burden, without setting one segment of the public against the other,” he said. “I think that this process is now being carried out, and we must see to it that it is carried out while maintaining national unity.”

In an apparent reference to the Israeli-Arab public, Netanyahu said that in the future “we would like to see other parts of Israeli society sharing the burden.”

Netanyahu has been willing to let others publicly carry the ball on the haredi draft issue, not wanting to completely alienate the ultra-Orthodox sector that he might need politically sometime in the future.

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