The High Court of Justice notified the State that it would only decide upon the granting of a possible extension to the preparation of the Conscription Law not before the end of next week. As the Knesset session officially ends at the end of this week, Deputy Health Minister and MK Yaakov Litzman, who leads the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party, will be put to the test to see if he stands by his words and quits the coalition at the end of this week.
President of the Supreme Court, Esther Hayut decided that she would give audiences to the organizations that petitioned against granting the extension until next week Thursday to present their case. The organizations who have petitioned the High Court include: The Movement for Quality Government in Israel, The Forum For Equality in Carrying The Burden, and the Yesh Atid Party. The State had previously requested a seven-month extension for the passing of a new law to replace to old conscription law, that the High Court struck down. Th government has until September to have a new law on the books allowing for the deferral of yeshiva students to learn instead of enlisting in the IDF. Should a new law not be passed by the Knesset by the end date, then the State would be forced to conscript all of the Yeshiva students into the IDF in one large group, as all deferrals would then be nullified.
Litzman gave an even shorter time limit. Stating that should the new law not be passed, nor an extension granted by the High Court to defer their order to the State by seven months, allowing the yeshiva students to continue to receive their deferrals by the end of the summer session of the Knesset then he would resign.
Head of the Yesh Atid party MK Yair Lapid spoke about his party’s petition to the high court: “After Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyhu got the IDF and the Defense Ministry to draft the new conscription bill, he is once again capitulating to the Charedim. Why does this bill need to be pushed off? What is unclear about it? The IDF wrote the bill. The Chief of Staff signed it. Yesh Atid submitted a counter-petition to the High Court today demanding that an extension be disallowed. There is no reason for such an extension whatsoever. The Chareidi parties had plenty of time to form a proper answer to the bill. Every day that passes only one thing happens, the Chareidim do not get conscripted nor are they joining the workforce.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)