Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday, 1 Elul, made his position clear to the chareidi parties. He stated that the matter of the IDF draft law must be resolved within two week or he will move to early elections. Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman appears defiant and unwilling to make any compromise. The prime minister appears to have endured as much as he is willing and prefers elections over being held over a barrel by Litzman.
Over the last few days, the voices calling for elections have been rising, in light of the storm surrounding the new draft law. Indeed, the prime minister himself informed the heads of the chareidi parties the clock has about run out. Netanyahu is demanding a quick solution or else he is setting a date for elections.
PM Netanyahu’s remarks were addressed to the Agudas Yisrael faction and Deputy Minister Yaakov Litzman, the faction that is delaying the approval of the draft law – at the request of the party’s Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah.
Mr. Netanyahu told the heads of the coalition factions: “If there is no breakthrough and compromise by the chareidi parties within two weeks, we will decide at the beginning of next month on a date for elections.”
Deputy Minister Litzman responded to Netanyahu’s remarks by saying: “The approval of the revised draft law is one of the main things that served as the basis for the coalition and the current government … We have no interest in the elections, but we cannot compromise on the fundamental issue of preserving the status of talmidei yeshivos. The Moetzas Gedolei Torah decides on the matter and we will do as they instruct us.”
The Likud said in response: Prime Minister Netanyahu is continuing his efforts to resolve the issue of the draft law.
The chairman of the Machane Tzioni faction and the center of the opposition, Yoel Hasson, responded: “Why wait two weeks. Elections now. The opposition is ready at all times to vote for dispersing the Knesset and going to elections.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)