In preparation for presenting the memorandum of the draft law to Gedolei Hador, as part of the meeting of the Agudas Yisrael Moetzas Gedolei HaTorah to be held on Thursday, 2 Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, the chareidi factions are working to form a position together with attorney Yitzhak Meron.
BeChadrei Chareidim reports learning that MKs from Shas and Yahadut Hatorah have been holding feverish discussions with attorney Meron, who accompanied the previous draft law and also advised the chareidim in the battle to preserve Kedushas Shabbos.
The chareidi factions will formulate a unified position that will be presented to the Gedolei Yisrael in the coming days for the upcoming voting. In addition, Agudas Yisrael MKs will meet before to coordinate their positions before presenting the law to members of the Moetzes, to decide whether to support or oppose the proposed law.
The proposal, which has not been shown to anyone else in the cabinet, calls for Chareidi army recruitment to grow by 8% annually over the next three years to reach 4,967 by 2021, after which the pace of the increase would slow to reach 6,844 by 2027.
As mentioned, the chareidi factions attacked the draft law presented on Monday, and expressed strong opposition to the Defense Ministry’s proposal to impose economic sanctions on the yeshiva world.
Yeshivas will be required to meet at least 95% of their quota for army recruits within three years or face increasingly severe financial penalties in the form of government aid they receive, according to the recommendations of a Defense Ministry committee.
The panel said that if the yeshivas fail to meet the quota, the penalties should grow increasingly severe.
Thus in the third and fourth year after the law has been enacted, the sanctions would be equal to the short fall. For example an institution that is 8% short of its quota will see aid cut by 8%.
In the fifth and sixth year, the reduction would be twice the rate of the yeshiva’s quota shortfall. In subsequent years the ratio would rise to three times and to four times by the 10th year.
Yahadut Hatorah released a message, “After the members of the faction learn and examine the recommendations of the bill, and see what this is about, they will bring the matter to the attention of the Moetzes.”
The party message adds, “It is clear that the faction will not lend a hand and will not agree to harm the lomdei Torah and will insist on the continuity of limud Torah with great determination and vigor, so that there will be no change from today’s situation.
“The Shas faction views Torah study as a supreme value in the Jewish people and will insist that every Torah scholar can continue to study Torah without interference and without any restriction.”
Regarding economic sanctions, the message released is, “The Shas faction expresses its displeasure at the attempt to punish lomdei Torah by reducing the budgets of the institutions. We will not allow any harm to the status of yeshiva students.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)