Yesh Atid: Criminal Sanctions or Kiss the Coalition Goodbye


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bibelaBy now it is clear to all that the current coalition government is counting down the days to its demise. It is not known however who will leave first, Bayit Yehudi of Yesh Atid.

Bayit Yehudi is monitoring the actions of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and her negotiations with the PA (Palestinian Authority). Party leaders are well-aware of Livni’s left-wing leanings and her willingness to give away additional areas of Eretz HaKodesh for as long as Tel Aviv, Herzliya and those areas holy to the seculars are safe.

Following the Supreme Court decision to halt funding to yeshivos of avreichim who are not serving in the military, Yesh Atid’s Minister of Science Yaakov Peri announced the party’s ultimatum – criminal sanctions against chareidim or kiss the coalition goodbye. Peri headed the first committee given the responsibility to formulate the new chareidi draft law. While Bennett and his dati leumi party were on board, a combination of rabbinical pressure and the realization they are in bed with the devil has led the party to oppose criminal sanctions against chareidim who fail to comply with the new law. Yesh Atid however is uninterested in Bayit Yehudi’s change of heart and the showdown should take place soon.

Adding credibility to Peri’s statements is the fact that party leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid met with Peri in his home on Tuesday night following the Supreme Court’s decision. The two agreed that the position of the court compels the party to insist on criminal sanctions. They feel that anyone not reporting for the draft will be imprisoned and face the full weight of the nation’s judicial system. The two felt strengthened by the High Court’s firm decision to immediately halt yeshiva funding.

Following the meeting Peri told Yediot Achronot that the matter of a chareidi draft law is of the highest priority and they must pass a law that will correct the injustices of years past.

This will complicate matters for Yael Shaked, who now heads the committee finalizing the new draft law. She announced that she plans to have the Knesset vote on the bill in its third and final reading by March 10, 2014.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Remember that criminal sanctions means mass arrests, and not for a few days. It means seizing money raised in America and sent to yeshivos in Israel. It means that the currently pro-zionist hareidi parties (that sit in the Kenesset) will be forced to be anti-zionist – think back to days of R. Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld and Dr. Jacob Israel de Haan. Politically this will mean a major shift in the frum community, with a gigantic “I told you so” (though they are too polite to say so) from Satmar, and Neturei Karta (which wouldn’t be too polite to refrain from gloating).

    And for all the noise about Yesh Atid, remember that Bayit Yeudi and Likud together with the three (currently pro-zionist) hareidi parties have enough votes to pass a basic law (constitutional amendment) and resolve the matter.

    The only solution at this point would be for Likud and Bayit Yehudi to support an end to conscription, which would ironically strengthen the Israeli military.

  2. #2- Before that happens it is more likely that the Muslims will announce they welcome hareidim in their side of Eretz Yisrael, and since the State of Israel is only a homeland for some Jews, all the more reason to partition it (along the earlier lines). Remember that most of the world regards the Israelis as illegally occupying Jerusalem and the West Bank, so the Israelis are very vulnerable. What the hilonim are forgetting is that once most Haredim are forced into open opposition to the zionists, it will eliminate the principle reason why so much of the western world has supported Israel for the last 65 years. A non-Jewish Israel loses its raison d’etre.