Almost everyone has climbed down from their high ladder as efforts continue in the coalition government to find a solution that will prevent early elections. The chareidim clearly do not want to go to elections, but there is speculation Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may prefer early elections, in three months, as this would assist him vis-à-vis ongoing police investigations against him. He would then be in a new stable coalition after elections, or so he hopes, if and when an indictment is announced against him.
Whatever the case may be, the one person who remains atop of his high ladder is Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman, and if the coalition is to be saved, someone will have to persuade him not to bolt from the coalition if an agreement is reached with the chareidi parties and elections avoided.
Lieberman has promised if PM Netanyahu makes a deal with the chareidim regarding a draft law, he will immediately break from the coalition. He is of the opinion that the IDF alone may decide the rules and parameters of a new draft law based its needs as senior commanders view it. Lieberman rejects permitting rabbonim a say in the draft law, preferring to pasul the combined 13 chareidi seats in Knesset and hundreds of thousands of voters those seats represent.
Some feel he is being genuine, and it concerned with the IDF’s needs. Others believe this just exposes his true disdain for chareidim.
The bottom line is that no matter what he does, to chareidim it is clear, the bulk of the bnei torah population will not be serving in the IDF no matter what new law comes about.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)