Mofaz optimistic on Tal Law agreement (JERUSALEM POST) By JPOST COM STAFF 07/10/12)
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Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz said Monday that he believes the government
can successfully draft a bill to replace the Tal Law on haredi (ultra-
Orthodox) enlistment by the weekend, but reiterated that Kadima would
leave the coalition if the effort fails.
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Kadima MK Yohanan
Plesner began drafting a bill Sunday that would equalize the burden
of IDF service, in an effort to bring about what Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu called a historic change.
Speaking to Channel 2 news, Mofaz said that progress on the bill
is "headed in the right direction," but warned that "until there´s an
agreement, there is no agreement."
He also said that haredi Jews must be drafted by the age of 22 at the
latest, a condition he called a red line.
In an interview with Channel 10 Mofaz added that service "is part of
our DNA as Jews."
Plesner and Ya´alon intend to work long hours over the next two days
to complete the bill by Wednesday, get it approved in Sunday’s
cabinet meeting and ensure its passage into law by the time the
Knesset’s summer recess begins July 25.
“We are facing a historic opportunity to heal what has been an open
wound for Israeli society,” Ya’alon said before his meeting with
Plesner. “We have to use our brains and avoid exacerbating societal
rifts. I hope we will succeed in this mission.”
In the meeting, Ya’alon and Plesner tested each other’s flexibility
and red lines. The Likud was pleased to see Plesner compromise on
service for Israeli Arabs, if not in the IDF, then in natiional
service, while Kadima officials said the Likud made concessions on
the age when haredim will no longer be able to defer IDF service for
full-time Torah study.
“There has been progress but there are still many question marks,
which I hope within two or three days will become exclamation marks,”
Netanyahu and Kadima approve the appointment of the Ya’alon-Plesner
task force on Sunday after the Likud faction agreed unanimously to
endorse all of the recommendations of the Keshev Committee except for
its points on Israeli Arabs.
The Likud faction said it saw no reason to delay the application of
the “service for all” principle to the Israeli Arab population.
Plesner recommended that the application of a service mandate for
this population be implemented gradually.
The other points addressed and accepted by the Likud faction are: the
principle of service for all Israeli citizens; that serving is a
personal responsibility; providing incentives and rewards for those
who serve in the IDF; creating an enforcement mechanism that will
punish those who evade service; and the immediate implementation of
the committee’s recommendations regarding men in the ultra-Orthodox
Gil Hoffman and Lahav Harkov contributed to this report. (© 1995-
2011, The Jerusalem Post 07/10/12)
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