Lieberman could leave coalition over Tal Law

The editorial page editor, Mati Wagner, discusses the Tal Law and its ramifications.

Tal Law Protest 311 (photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
Tal Law Protest 311
(photo credit: YouTube Screenshot)
According to The Jerusalem Post's editorial page editor, Mati Wagner, the Tal Law has significant ramifications on the political sphere and the road forward is likely to pan out in one of two ways: Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may opt for only small, cosmetic amendments to the Tal Law and the haredi sector will continue to shirk army service.
Wagner avers that should the prime minister choose this path, Israel Beiteinu will have a problem. Party leader Avigdor Lieberman is pressurizing the prime minister not to make any “ad-hoc” changes and to take some serious steps to remedy the issue of haredi military service.  Should the prime minister not take action, Lieberman could potentially remove his party from the coalition.
On the other hand, asserts Wagner, should Netanyahu go head to head with the haredi sector, he risks alienating them from his coalition. Therefore Netanyahu has to find some sort of legislation that would answer Lieberman’s minimum requirements without upsetting the haredi MKs in his government.
Wagner explains the significance of the Tal Law in a historical context: Back in 1948, Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, wrote a letter in which he promised that men who were studying Torah fulltime would be exempt from army service. At the time, that number of men totaled 400 while the vast majority of haredi men enlisted in the army and fought in the War of Independence.
By 1977, when a right-wing government came into power for the first time, that number had grown to more than 8000. Today, there are more than 60,000 men that are exempt from the army because of fulltime Torah study. They make up for over half of the total number of draft-dodgers.