Share the Burden Issue May Dominate Coalition Talks

(Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013)

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)

10 Comments

  1. old man says:

    ha’le’vai

  2. akuperma says:

    There are possible compromises. One would be to allow a no questions asked “conscientious objector” status, with the proviso that you give up various entitlements (as we in the US call them). Throwing people in jail because they raise religious objections to military service is the most reliable away to undermine support for Israel in western countries. If they are rounding up yeshiva students to imprison them, expect some countries to offer asylum – something that could serious embarass Israel. It’s bad enough most westerners see Israel as a “colonial” state, but one that also persecutes Jews???

    Another issue is to what extent the government will accomodate hareidim in the military – if they end up with most hareidim frequently refusing to obey orders and refusing to eat cooked food you will have a serious disruption of the military – on the other hand, having a large percentage of the army in segregated units can be very disruptive in the long run.

    If the zionists avoid throwing people in jail for being too frum, and make IDF service a serious option for hareidim who intend to be frum, and perhaps rely more on the carrot (funding for soldiers and veterans to learn Torah) rather than the stick – it all might work out very well. If not, well, if you know both Hebrew and Aramaic, it isn’t too much of a leap to learn Arabic as well.

  3. Breslever says:

    Aryeh Deri seems quite optimistic. On Kikar Hashabbat he’s saying he spoke with Netanyahu AND Leiberman and both are adamant Shas (and thus, due to their election agreement, UTJ) will be in the coalition and that the issues can be worked (read: compromised) on.

    I’m starting to wonder if the negativity from YWN isn’t just sensationalist journalism.

  4. rce says:

    Breslever,
    Negativity is the understatement of the century.
    Ywn is a poor substitute for arutz sheva to get the dati leumi viewpoint for everything and anything happening in Israel, and most of their so called news stories are just very thinly veiled opinion pieces trumpeting the Mizrachi viewpoint.
    Frankly, it isn’t sensationalist journalism; it isn’t journalism at all.
    Obviously, they are entitled by American law to make their money by expressing any opinion they want- I just wish they would finally change their name to reflect the reality of who they are and what they represent.

  5. deepthinker says:

    Since the sole zechus of kiyum for the State is its support for Torah, one can easily predict that dropping that support will spell the death-knell of the Zionist state.

    let us pray that our brethren in Eretz Yisroel will not suffer as a result of these cataclysmic changes on the horizon.

  6. Keeper of the Keys says:

    Once people put all the rhetoric aside there is plenty of room for compromise:
    - most civil service can easily be combined with learning
    - hesder like solutions work very well for the dati leumi community no reason it can’t work for Haredim
    - funded kollel after army.
    - a professional army and no more draft (though that would probably also require other funding to be cut to pay wages of professional soldiers)

    It is clear to anyone who is honest about it that the current situation can’t continue, more haredim need to work, but trying to force change is obviously counter-productive.

    Possibly they will decide to coax with funding etc.

    Only time can tell, and regardless don’t forget it all comes from God “Lev malchut beyad Hashem” the govt. just thinks it does what it wants.

  7. Keeper of the Keys says:

    (And lets not forget expanding the existing Army frameworks for Haredim/Religious people)

  8. bklynmom says:

    #3 I would imagine Deri is sounding optimistic for his voters only. Unless SHAS & UTJ have come up finally with some creative, Torahdic compromises and ideas for the new Tal law.

  9. akuperma says:

    Keeper of the Keys: Except that to many of the hilonim, the goal in conscription is to break the hareidi community in order to prevent the pending “nightmare” (from their perspective) of Eretz Yisrael becoming predominantly Jewish (meaning Jewish as in hareidi-type frum). If they do something about the growing hareidim population, their dream of a secular Jewish homeland is lost. Based on past experiences, if they can get the kids out of yeshiva into the army for a few years, a fairly large percentage of them will be much more “normal”.

  10. RBS.Jew says:

    What frustrates me is that the chareidi parties officially refused to be involved with any committee to build a “new Tal Law.” They thought they were being smart by standing up for what they believe in but instead it left them in a worse position without ability to negotiate as much.

    On another note, I painfully read akuperma’s nonsense comments on the majority of articles. I suppose he has forgotten a good deal of his Jewish history. He regularly presents his idea that the world will support the chareidim and even provide these poor “persecuted” Jews “political assylum.” I wonder – which nation of this world do you expect to save Jews? The Germans? The French? The Spanish? Egyptians, Saudis, Iranians, Swiss, Polish, etc, etc, etc? Oh yes, you’re comfortable in the US & believe they love you, that they’ll protect you. You’re just as confortable & safe as our ancestors throughout the past 2,000 years in the galut… It’s precisely due to our history that we need to protect ourselves & not rely on the nations to protect us. Certainly I don’t think chareidim are (or will be) persecuted here but that’s all a matter of the person’s perspective. No one is telling them they can’t learn or do what they want – the country is saying that they don’t want to foot the bill for such a large # of people to learn all day.

    As for service in the army OR national chesed programs (and I really don’t understand why no one here acknowledges the generous offer to allow chareidim to serve in a CHESED program instead of the army)… I don’t believe for a second that asking for these things is considered “persecution.” If you can’t find a correct definition of persecution in the dictionary, I suggest you look into the history books – & the Tanach!!!

    While you wait for the nations of the world to protect you, we’ll continue to build a safe haven for you… we’re waiting for you to join your People when you’re ready… we’ll leave the light on for you.

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