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Yishai and Knesset insider Jeremy Man Saltan talk about expanding Israel's transport system along with the potential passing and implementation of the Tal Law, which would mandate ultra-orthodox Jews serve in the IDF.
"It is inconceivable that deans of yeshivas would lie knowingly and sign for their students as if they're present full time in the yeshivas, while in reality they're not there."
Against the background of the expiration on August 1 of the Tal Law, which attempted to manage Haredi recruitment, the Moetzes Gdolei HaTorah (Assembly of Torah Sages), the supreme rabbinical policy-making council of several Haredi organizations in Israel convened Monday night in Bnei Brak at the home of leader of the Lithuanian sector, Rav Steinman, to solidify the policy of military conscription.
As the deadline for the renewal of the Tal Law approaches and tens of thousands of people rallied to demand that all citizens of Israel perform national service, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction to discuss ways to include Hareidim in national and military service. With his party in agreement, the prime minister is on his way to drafting new legislation.
A government coalition effort to craft a revised version of the Tal Law, whereby a sizeable number of draft eligible haredi yeshiva students would be forced to choose between joining the Israel Defense Forces or partake in Sherut Leumi (alternative national service), could become a political quagmire for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, as Kadima Party leader Shaul Mofaz is threatening to bolt the unity government over a lack of progress toward finding a solution.
In the early days of Statehood, when Rabbi Avraham Yeshaya Karelitz, the famed Chazon Ish, and other leading rabbis reached a compromise with David Ben Gurion to provide military exemptions for yeshiva students, only some 400 students were exempted. Writing about a Milchemet Mitzvah, the Chazon Ish himself recognized that “if there is a need for them, they must come to the aid of their brethren.”
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to form a coalition government with Kadima and cancel planned early elections has inspired endless speculation as to his motives. Some maintain he was seeking a unity government in order to bolster his position with regard to Iran. Others point to his desire to be better able to deal with certain domestic issues such as election reform and changes to the Tal Law.
On the issue of ultra-Orthodox military service, 41% of those surveyed said they would be moderately or very interested in joining the Haredi IDF program, while 59% said they had either little or no interest. Still, the percentage of interest is substantially higher than the current annual rate of Haredi enlistment in the IDF.
The intensifying focus on legislating an alternative to the Tal Law has the ultra-Orthodox parties in the Likud-led coalition defensive yet intractable. Shas and UTJ - representing 15 seats in the government - have declared that they will not participate in the coalition committee on finding an alternative.
Netanyahu: "By the end of July, we will pass a law that will divide the burden on a more equal, more egalitarian and more just basis for all Israelis, Jewish and Arab alike, without setting public against public."
Israel Beytenu Chairman: "The residents who have lived in Givat Ulpana for years are law-abiding citizens. This is not an illegal outpost. It is the state's mistake, and it must take responsibility. There are ways to regulate the matter with legislation."
A joint JoeSettler-Jameel post. Left behind in the wake of Netanyahu’s surprise unity maneuver are some serious winners and loser. There is no doubt that...
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Likud Party convention called for a four-month election campaign. Meanwhile, coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu called for a delay of the Knesset dissolution to allow the government to pass its bill ordering mandatory enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces for all Israeli citizens.
The Likud Party, which leads the ruling coalition, has submitted a bill to dissolve the current Knesset and is pushing for new elections on Sept. 4.
An officer close to the issue told the Jewish Press: "It is not that we turned away 100 soldiers - had they come to us we would have taken them anyway. But we were told to stop our Haredi outreach efforts which would have netted more recruits. The Tal Law is the big story though. If a new law does not pass we will be in a position to draft 60,000 Haredi soldiers in August."
Yishai and Malkah talk about their excitement for snow in Israel, an Arab rock-throwing attack against American Legislators, an ancient Judean palm tree grows today, the expiration of a law allowing ultra-Orthodox Jews to avoid military service, and Yishai’s Tu B’Shevat Seder in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York.
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