Netanyahu: Decision on Elections Within Two Weeks (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Gabe Kahn 04/30/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Monday that a decision on
whether to hold early elections will be made by the end of the next
Netanyahu, whose father died at the age of 102 on Monday, will be
restriciting his official appearances for the next week as he
observes the traditional Jewish first week of mourning known
Netanyahu told the Likud ministers during a morning meeting, saying
the decision would follow after examining the "feasibility" of such a
The primary point of contention in the Likud-led coalition is Foreign
Minister Avigdor Lieberman´s insistence on immediately nullifying the
Tal Law, which would abolish exemptions to IDF service received by
Israel´s Hareidi community.
This morning, Netanyahu met in his office with Boaz loom, Eidan
Miller, Joab Kish, Zohra Berger, and Yotam Berger who represent a
movement among IDF reservists opposed to the Tal Law.
Netanyahu told them, "The division of the burden of service must be
changed. It should not be as it is. This is our second meeting in
recent months. I know there are a lot of opportunists who voted for
the automatic extension of the Tal Law."
"I do not like that," he went on. "The Tal Law will be replaced by a
more egalitarian and more just law. I will make it happen. The new
law also will include national service for Arabs. This should be
possible without the incitement of public figures."
However, Netanyahu said, “Such a change will involve expanding
frameworks [for religious soldiers in the IDF] and increasing the
budget. This is a high priority and falls within the needs of state
The Prime Minister said opponents of the renewal of the Tal Law have
taken such a strong stance for immediate action that early elections
are a distinct possibility.
Eidan Miller, who participated in the meeting with the Prime
Minister, told Radio Kol Israel´s "All Talk"" radio show with Yossi
Hadar that Netanyahu stressed the Knesset is committed to enacting a
replacement for the Tal Law.
He added that Netanyahu also told them that one "ultra-Orthodox"
party understood that such change in Israeli society has
Observers note that Netanyahu´s reference to "expanded frameworks"
and "increased budget" closely echoes previous statements made by
Interior Minister Eli Yishai, the head of the Sephardic Hareidi party
The ruling Likud party is currently polling stronger than its present
27 seats, while its former chief rival, Kadima, is polling well below
its present 28 seats.
Such a move could spell disaster for Defense Minister Ehud Barak,
whose Independence Party has yet to poll well enough to be seated in
the next Knesset should elections be held today.
Analysts say the conflict over the Tal Law between Netanyahu and
Lieberman may not necessarily preclude the Prime Minister from
including Lieberman´s Yisrael Bateinu party - or Shas - in the next
A stronger Likud, they note, would be able to form a more
ideologically homogeneous and stable coalition that could well
exclude Hareidi parties opposed to the cancellation of the Tal Law.
(IsraelNationalNews © 2012 04/30/12)
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