Ya´alon: Plesner wanted to declare war on haredim (ISRAEL HAYOM) Israel Hayom staff 07/18/12)
Israel Hayom Articles-Index-Top
Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya´alon: Kadima thought it
could sever Likud from the haredi parties, but this is also a rift in
the country, and we could not agree to this • Plesner: Our job is to
remove Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
A day after Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz took his party out of Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu´s coalition on Tuesday, the political
swords were drawn, with MKs on both sides of the issue of haredi
military exemptions blaming each other for the dissolution of one of
the largest, and most short-lived unity government in Israel´s
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called for early elections, saying that
it was time Israelis replaced the current government, which
was "doing nothing and going nowhere."
Kadima MK Yochanan Plesner, who was at the center of the political
storm as head of the Keshev Committee for adressing the inequalities
in Israeli society, said that Kadima was not breaking apart. "Our job
is to go into the opposition, unite all the parties in the center,
and provide an alternative that can remove Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu," he told Israel Radio on Wednesday.
Plesner´s inability or unwillingness to reach a compromise with Likud
Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya´alon over the age until which ultra-
Orthodox men receive military exemptions, as well as the financial
penalties that draft dodgers would face, precipitated the coalition
crisis. Plesner added that the two sides were not close to an
agreement, and that the government was aiming to institute a Tal Law
Two, which would continue to grant haredim a blanket military
exemption. "We came to the negotiations with a wide range of
opportunities and solutions for the haredim, to sustain their way of
life, but we hit a brick wall every time," he said.
As things stand now, Ya´alon´s proposal to draft haredim at age 26
with no personal financial sanctions for draft dodgers will be
brought to the government´s approval before the Knesset in two weeks
´We cannot declare war on a whole sector of the population,´ Ya´alon
told Army Radio on Wednesday,
Speaking of Kadima´s attitude in the negotiations, Ya´alon said "I
went into the issue at the beginning of last week thinking it would
be a historic process, but realized by the middle of the week that it
was a political process.
"Kadima wanted the exemption age to be 23, which is absurd. Two
months before this, Plesener penned a proposal which stated that
haredim would be exempted until age 26. What changed? I don´t see a
problem with drafting haredi men at 26. They can go into the
firefighters, the police, or the army.
"Kadima thought it could sever Likud from the haredi parties, but
this is also a rift in the country, and they didn´t care about that.
That would be a declaration on a whole sector of the population. When
Kadima realized that they couldn’t do that they started printing
political placards. Kadima was only interested in the haredim and not
the Arab Israelis. We´re talking about the Arab Israelis too. When I
realized that I was faced with political calculations only and not
universal ethical values I realized that this wouldn’t end well.
"We are seeing a positive process here in the haredi world – we are
seeing more and more of them in the army, studying and working –
these are things that we never saw before.
"Plesner wanted to put haredi draft dodgers in jail. But we said that
things are happening in the haredi world. A 12-year old boy growing
up in Bnei Brak will start to see soldiers in uniform around the
neighborhood and gradually this will become acceptable. A young
haredi man who serves in the army will no longer be denied a
shidduch. The army understands that it needs to open new units and
opportunities for the haredim. If the army established a new Nahal
Haredi battalion it will fill it very quickly," Ya´alon, a former IDF
chief of general staff said.
Return to Top
MATERIAL REPRODUCED FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY