While MK Yisrael Eichler during a plenum session in Knesset demanded the new draft bill preliminary vote take place on Wednesday, 13 Adar, in reality, the chareidi parties realize it would not pass its preliminary reading at present.
These are two different bills, both of which are initiated by chareidi MKs from Yahadut Hatorah and Shas, whose purpose is to solve the problem created by the High Court of Justice ruling which eliminated the previous law.
The chareidim are aware the staunch opposition of Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his party to the bill, will lead to opposition in the Ministerial Law Committee. The bill, which was submitted on behalf of chareidi MKs, is defined as a Basic Law proposal with all the implications, and is called the “Basic Law of Torah Study.” The bill states that Torah study is a fundamental value in the heritage of the Jewish people, That the State of Israel as a Jewish state is of the utmost importance in encouraging Torah study and learning Torah, and regarding their rights and duties will see those who committed themselves to devote themselves to limud Torah for a long time as those who serve the State of Israel and the Jewish people.
The explanatory notes state that the importance and significance of limud Torah and those who study Torah have always been clear. It is proposed to properly anchor in the Basic Law the great importance and great value that the state sees in studying Torah and its desire to encourage Torah study across sectors. It is also proposed that the Basic Law stipulate that those who accept to devote themselves to Torah study for a significant period will be considered to have served the State of Israel and the Jewish people, and that they will have implications for their rights and obligations.
“Beyond the fact that these values were worthy of anchoring in any case, this clarification was also intended to address the issue that the Supreme Court asked the Knesset to regulate.”
The bill also states that “the Basic Law is also intended to clarify the position of the Knesset, which enshrines in the Basic Law the policy of all Israeli governments, that in light of the centrality of the value of Torah study and its importance as a service to the Jewish people, recognition of this in a matter of his rights and obligations, “meaning that any Torah scholar recognized by the state will receive the rights of a soldier both during his service and release.
Another bill proposed by the chareidi MKs is a proposal to amend the Defense Services Law, with the aim of amending several provisions of the current law in order to address the High Court of Justice.
The explanatory note states that this bill is intended to present the actual arrangement with a principled determination regarding the appropriate balance that should be attributed to Torah study in the face of the High Court’s comments, and it is proposed to amend Section 26C of the Law. It is proposed that the Minister of Defense postpone the service to those who meet the other conditions set forth in the Law, and propose to cancel the second adjustment period set forth in the Law, instead of only one adjustment period of four years.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)