The Government on Sunday, 17 Kislev, turned to the High Court of Justice again, seeking yet another extension to the draft law as it appears it will not succeed in passing the current legislation into law by the December 2nd deadline set forth by the court.
The Government requested an extension from the High Court in August, seeking an additional nine months, and the court decided that it would grant a three-month extension, which expires on December 2, 2018.
It is most unlikely that the current draft bill will be passed into law by that date, as Agudas Yisrael remains opposed. MK Uri Maklev on Sunday announced in his opinion, all the chareidi parties would vote against the bill if brought to Knesset for a vote.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu earlier this week threatened the chareidi parties, explaining he is unwilling to amend the current draft bill and if they are unwilling to back it, they can take their chances with the High Court of Justice and the coalition will be dissolved and they will head to early elections.
At present, the extension granted by the High Court will expire on December 2nd, at which time the lomdei Torah around the country, tens of thousands, will not have a legal draft deferment and can be drafted. No less serious is the reality that the High Court may decide to grant another extension, but the more likely scenario is the court will decide the status of the bnei Torah on its own, and this will bring an end to the chareidi parties having any influence on the future draft law.
While the chareidim are less than satisfied with the current legislation, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita months ago warned this is not the time to leave the coalition, perhaps aware the other alternatives will be worse than current options.
Agudas Yisrael in particular has been playing hard ball, threatening if the current legislation is not amended, it is willing to go to elections. Shas and Degel Hatorah are also not pleased with the current draft bill, but are not as willing as Agudah to dissolve the coalition and head to elections, well-aware the High Court may adjudicate the status of bnei Torah and in addition, the next coalition is likely to be far less chareidi-friendly than the current one and they are not racing to the polls as Agudah appears willing to do.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)