Amid the Yahadut Hatorah euphoria surrounding a seventh Knesset seat, the latter may only serve to strengthen the opposition as it appears likely the chareidim will not be partners in the next coalition government.
While Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would prefer a more solid Knesset majority, there are simply issues that have become too prominent to ignore, issues that negate the very basis for chareidi inclusion in the coalition with the ‘sharing the burden’ momentum leading that list.
Leaders of the more likely coalition partners, Yesh Atid and Bayit HaYehudi have spoken out and clearly defined their position. The secular and dati leumi communities are united in their vision of a chareidi draft and pushing chareidim into the workplace, a non-starter for Shas and Yahadut Hatorah in a coalition.
Complicating matters for the chareidim is the fact the Supreme Court back in the summer of 2012 disqualified the Tal Law, so in essence, the ‘sharing the burden’ is the current reality and if nothing is changed, the draft notices will be mailed to thousands of chareidim as planned.
The Hiddush organization in its latest Supreme Court petition against chareidim challenges the continued state funding for kollelim, seeking to understand how the national government continues to fund avreichim when the High Court ruled this is illegal. When the Tal framework was disqualified by the court it took along the legal framework for hesder yeshivot and funding of chareidi kollelim too.
The High Court has given the state 45 days to respond, temporarily halting the funding to kollelim, which is already being felt as some avreichim are without a source of income. Without chareidim in the forming coalition this may chas v’sholom become the norm and tens of thousands of talmidim and avreichim will have to address new painful realities as kollelim will be left without state funding. For many, it will be a decision between military service or a jail cell while the Defense Ministry has been working. Thousands of draft notices are set to go out to chareidi homes around the country in the coming months.
While coalition negotiations always result in compromise by all parties involved, the share the burden issue has simply become too burning an issue on the national agenda for the prime minister to sweep it under the carpet to woo chareidim into the coalition. Therefore, the inclusion of Shas or Yahadut Hatorah in the new government is unlikely at this time.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)