Tal Law Timeline

The events that led us to where we are today, with PM dissolving Keshev Committee, negotiating with coalition parties.

Haredi man, IDF ceremony Tal Law Keshev IDF390 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Haredi man, IDF ceremony Tal Law Keshev IDF390
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Finding a replacement for the Tal Law, which would require haredim and Israeli Arabs to enlist in the IDF or do civilian service, is a ticking time bomb for the coalition – for the second time this year. Here’s a list of the events that led us to where we are today, with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu dissolving the Keshev Committee and negotiating with coalition parties.
· January 17, 2012: Netanyahu says he will extend the Tal Law, which allows yeshiva students to defer IDF service indefinitely, for five more years.
· February 21: The High Court of Justice rules that the Tal Law may not be extended when it expires on August 1, 2012.
· February 27: Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman expresses determination to pass equal service law, says Tal Law cannot be extended “even by one hour.” Meanwhile, Shas and United Torah Judaism hold an emergency meeting with senior haredi Rabbi Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman.
· April – May: Parties – including Yisrael Beytenu, Independence, Kadima and political hopeful Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid - prepare for expected elections, presenting their own alternatives to the Tal Law.
· May 8: Kadima joins government, naming “equality in the burden of service” as one of its major goals as a coalition member.
· May 13: Netanyahu and Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz announce the formation of a committee to replace the Tal Law, led by MK Yohanan Plesner (Kadima).
· May 14: As Plesner recruits committee members, Shas and UTJ announce they are boycotting his committee, saying Torah study is not subject to negotiation.
· May 21: Netanyahu and Mofaz launch the inaugural meeting of the Keshev Committee, a Hebrew acronym for “promoting equality in the burden,” which includes representatives of coalition parties (except for Shas and UTJ), scholars, activists, and Jacob Weinroth, an attorney who unofficially represented haredi interests. Netanyahu says “equality in the burden is essential.”
· June 16: Keshev Committee’s legal advisor says recommendations are not required to include service for Israeli Arabs.
· June 27: Early draft of Keshev Committee recommendations is leaked to media, includes deferral of haredi enlistment until age 23 and personal sanctions against those who do not serve. Recommendations do not include civilian service for Arabs.
· June 25: Thousands of haredim gather at dawn in Mea Shearim, donning sackcloth and ashes to protest the draft.
· June 28: Yisrael Beytenu and Habayit Hayehudi leave the Keshev Committee as a result of its exclusion of Israeli Arabs in its recommendations.
· July 1: Weinroth quits Keshev Committee, citing the issue of personal sanctions against haredim who do not serve.
· July 2: Netanyahu dissolves Keshev Committee, says he will negotiate with coalition parties to find a solution. Mofaz threatens to leave the government, while Plesner continues drafting recommendations based on the committee’s work.
· July 3: Rebel Kadima MKs demand party leave government.
· July 4: Keshev Committee expected to present final recommendations
· August 1: The Tal Law expires.