Netanyahu, Mofaz open inaugural c'tee on Tal Law

PM says "time is short" to replace law governing haredi enlistment in IDF; Mofaz: Opportunity to change the face of Israel.

Haredi IDF soldiers Tal Law 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout .)
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 them.”
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 society.”
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 Israel.
“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.
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.
Later on 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 25.
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.