FM, Mofaz affirm commitment to draft all citizens (JERUSALEM POST) By JEREMY SHARON 06/27/12)
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In visit to "Camp Sucker" Liberman says it´s crucial all 18-year-olds
do national service; Mofaz denies "deals" with Kesehev c´tee.
Both Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman and Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz
paid visits to the “Camp Sucker” encampment in Tel Aviv today and
reaffirmed their commitment to passing a new law that will mandate
obligatory national service for all citizens.
The Camp Sucker movement is a protest group calling for an
equalization of the burden of national service.
The Keshev Committee in the Knesset has, for the last month, been
holding hearings to formulate a replacement for the Tal Law – passed
in 2002 and struck down in February by the High Court of Justice –
which allowed ultra-Orthodox men to indefinitely defer their military
The committee is expected to present its recommendations next week.
Speaking to the Camp Sucker protesters, Liberman said that it is
crucial that mandatory national service be instituted for anyone
reaching the age of 18. However, he refused to say whether Yisrael
Beytenu will quit the coalition if the new legislation does not
include mandatory service for all, promising simply that such a law
will be passed.
He also denied that the any deal had been done along the lines of
those proposed by coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin to institute minimum
targets for haredi recruits, something campaigners are ardently
Liberman also insisted that the new legislation is not designed to
injure any community “but to help two important sectors to integrate
into Israeli society and to create a more just society,” referring to
the haredi and Arab communities.
“We are trying to build our firefighting service, why can’t they
serve there? Or in nursing in hospitals? There is enough space for
everyone,” he said.
Mofaz, during his visit to the camp, denied that there have been
any “deals” done within the Keshev Committee, saying that the
government bill “will obligate all citizens” to perform some form of
The vice premier insisted however that the campaign for sharing the
burden of military service more equally should not turn into a
populist struggle or civil war.
He added that it will not be possible to satisfy the demands of all
sides, predicting strong opposition from the haredi sector and from
those “who want to score points on the back of haredim.”
Despite their comments, the protest movement for military service
equality was not satisfied with the tone or urgency of Mofaz and
Liberman’s comments, saying that the two had not declared that “they
will go to the end” for the sake of mandatory service for all.
“It seems that the haredi pressure has worked. If next week it turns
out that the Keshev Committee recommendations be another capitulation
to draft dodgers, the campaign will sharpen dramatically.” (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 06/27/12)
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