The Moetzes Gedolei Hatorah of Agudas Yisroel met on Sunday afternoon regarding the IDF draft law, which is set to expire in less than two months time.
At the meeting, the fifth this year, the Moetzes also discussed the upcoming municipal elections across Israel and in specific, inside Charedi communities.
A high ranking member of Agudas Yisroel told Israeli media outlet B’Chadrei Charedim, that the Moetzes seems to be softening regarding their original ultimatum regarding the conscription law. According to the source, the current sentiment is against bringing down the current government if a new law is not passed.
The official statement of the council will only be issued on Monday morning. The Moetzes did ask their Knesset members to continue to engage in dialogue with the Cabinet regarding the proposed law, in order to ensure that the law passes without Yeshiva bochurim being required to enlist en masse.
The meeting included the Admorim from Gur, Belz, Vizhnitz, Sans, Boyan, Slonim, Bialia, Sadigora, and Modgitz, as well as Chareidi Mayoral candidates from around the country.
The proposed legislation sets minimum yearly targets for drafting of Charedim that, if not met, would result in financial sanctions on Yeshivas. It also formalizes exemptions for the vast majority of Yeshiva Bochurim.
The Supreme Court has mandated that current conscription law expire on December 2. Should a new legislation not be voted into law, it would theoretically leave thousands of Yeshiva Bochurim unable to renew their deferments, making them eligible to be drafted by the IDF.
Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has stated he will not accept any change to the legislation, as it could potentially cloud the coalition’s prospects of reaching a compromise on the matter.
Should Agudas Yisroel not back the new law, Yesh Atid is said to be open to supporting it in its current form and would allow it to pass. However, should the Chareidi party vhoose to leave the coalition, it would force Prime Minister Netanyahu to either bring opposition parties into his government or head to early elections. Elections are currently scheduled to be held in November 2019.
Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush said during an interview with B’Chadrei: “In the past we have been without a conscription law a few times. Elections will be in 2019 regardless.”
Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said: “I have no idea what will be in the end.”
At his weekly cabinet meeting earlier in the day, Netanyahu said of the bill: “This is a good and balanced law. It balances between the needs of the IDF, which prepared it, and, of course, the needs of the Chareidi public.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)