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Bibi Said We'll Have New Elections
By Micah Halpern

Sunday August 12, 2018

I've Been Thinking:

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has threatened early elections if there is no resolution on the Conscription Bill.

The Conscription Bill is a compromise that balances the requirements of the democracy that require citizens to do national service and the ultra religious community that asserts learning Torah is a form of national service.

The bone of contention with this bill is that the Supreme Court of Israel ruled that the law as it stands needs to be changed - it is unfair and unclear. Revisions have already been made to the bill. The number of draftees has changed significantly from the original version.
The age of the draftees has been changed. The compromises were made to ensure that Hareidi men will join the army, albeit in small numbers.

Even these changes have not satisfied the Hareidi community. Israel's ultra religious parties want the draft of yeshiva students nixed totally. The Supreme Court on the other hand asserts there must be some parity in national service.

Rabbi Litzman, the deputy health minister and the representative of the Hareidi Achdut HaTorah coalition said: "The approval of an amended draft law is one of the central things that served as a base to the current coalition and government. We have no interest in elections, but we will not be able to compromise on the fundamental and essential thing of safeguarding the status of yeshiva students whose Torah is their work."

Litzman continued. "The different proposals will be brought for discussion to the Council of Torah Sages, which will decide on the matter. We will do as they instruct us."

The Israeli Supreme Court is extending the deadline before the bill is voted on in the hope of achieving some sort of resolution that is satisfactory for all the parties. The original deadline was the first week in September, it has now been moved to December 2nd.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is well aware that, if elections were to take place as early as February, he would be the solid winner. All other parties - with the possible exception of two right wing and one center left party would lose seats.

Netanyahu is not sweating over this bill.

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14 August 2018 12:06 AM in Thoughts

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