A new IDF draft bill agreement emerged from a meeting late Sunday between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and UTJ Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, which was then approved by the Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel.
The Moetzes of Agudas Yisroel forms the Rabbinical oversight committee for the three Agudas Yisroel Knesset members and instructs them on how to vote in the Knesset. Netanyahu held emergency meetings with Litzman in the hopes of reaching some kind of agreement that will prevent early elections.
The bill will be placed on the Ministerial Legislation Committee’s docket for 9am Monday–and then sent to a preliminary Knesset reading, without Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s party members having to vote for it.
The bill is based on a framework put forward by Shas MK Yoav Ben-Tzur, which states that a goal will be set of 3,800 Charedi recruits joining the IDF and national service with each recruitment cycle—with their number gradually increasing.
In addition, the law will omit any sanctions or incentives, instead including an article starting that the government will inspect general draft quotas every five years and if it finds Charedi conscripts failed to meet them, the law will expire.
Another problem that remains to be tackled is Defense Minister Lieberman’s statements that members of his party will vote against the bill.
Talks between Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman are expected to be key to resolving the dispute.
Should Lieberman make good on this threat and vote against it himself, he will be summarily fired.
Shas Chairman Minister Aryeh Deri and Degel Hatorah leader MK Moshe Gafne have been updated on the decision of the admorim. On motzei Shabbos, Degel MKs visited with HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky to brief the Gadol Hador and receive guidance. HaGaon HaRav Gershon Edelstein accompanied them as well.
Members of Netanyahu’s government have been quarreling over whether to extend military draft exemptions afforded to Yeshiva Bochrim. Chareidi MK’s say they will not vote for the 2019 budget without the draft exemptions, while Avigdor Lieberman has vowed to bolt the coalition if the budget isn’t passed soon.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)