The cabinet on Sunday, 29 Tammuz 5773 passed the Share the Burden Bill, which is intended as the replacement for the Tal Law. The cabinet voted 14 in favor of the bill and four abstentions.
Abstaining was Minister (Bayit Yehudi) Uri Ariel, who feels that while he has succeeded in taking a “bad bill and converting it to one that enjoys agreement”, he explains there are still some changes needed.
Also opposing the bill were the three cabinet ministers of the Yisrael Beitenu party, Yitzchak Aharonovich (Public Security), Yair Shamir (Agriculture) and Dr. Uzi Landau (Tourism). Yisrael Beitenu objects to the law, stating it does not represent ‘sharing the burden’ since it does not compel Israel’s Arab citizens to serve in the military or national service.
Speaking to Israel Radio following the vote, MK (Yahadut Hatorah) Meir Porush condemned the vote and the “hypocrisy of the cabinet and coalition”.
“I would like to see the big heroes of the coalition compel Israeli Arabs to serve”, stating that bill is discriminatory and in no way represents equality in Israel. Porush highlighted it is not about equality but it is about attacking the chareidim, and this is now clear to all.
“It is a black day for the Jewish People and the nation” he added, accusing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of “remaining in power by taking a free ride on the back of Lapid.”
At the start of the meeting Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated, “Today, after 65 years, we are submitting for Cabinet approval the outline on increasing equality in sharing the burden. We will enact this change gradually while considering the special needs of the chareidi population. Our objective is two-fold: Integrating young chareidim into IDF and national service and, no less important, integrating them into the labor force.
“I would like to thank the members of the committee on increasing equality in sharing the burden led by Minister Yaakov Peri, who did excellent work; you are truly worthy of all praise. I attribute great importance to integrating Israeli Arabs in sharing the burden and while the proposed outline refers to this issue, in my opinion it is still not complete and we will need to continue dealing with the issue in order to complete it.
The bill will now be prepared for its first vote in Knesset, which is expected to take place on Monday, Rosh Chodesh Av 5773.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)