In an interview with Kikar Shabbos, MK (Yahadut HaTorah) Yisrael Eichler explains at present there are no ongoing negotiations between chareidim and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as the final touches are being put on the bill to compel chareidim to serve in the IDF or approved national service program.
He mentions that there is a coalition agreement, which in his eyes is binding, adding the idea of punishing those who genuinely and truly learn torah is preposterous and unacceptable – that such a reality has not existed since the days of communist Russia. That is what they did at that time.
“There is total cooperation between us and Shas since in essence, there is no difference in the torah of Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita, HaRosh Yeshiva HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita, the Belzer Rebbe Shlita and the Gerrer Rebbe Shlita.
“They simply want to take away their yiddishkheit. If I give my word that I will remove the yarmulke from 1,000 talmidim each year, then they will no longer want them in the army. This is all it is about nothing more.
“I don’t see any possibility that Shas would remain if we leave the coalition and vice versa but I do see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu trying his divide and conquer strategy for this is how it works. Regarding Kadima, the party is looking for cabinet appointments. They are looking for a way to oust us, the chareidim.
“I believe that Shas and Yahadut HaTorah will remain. If gedolei hatorah instruct us to leave we will. I see no dispute with Maran Rav Ovadia and Eli Yishai is a welcome guest with the Belze Rebbe or Rav Shteinman. With this I do not see any issue as we are of one opinion here.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)