Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Friday morning attacked the compromise that is being forged by the coalition partners for a Haredi military draft bill. “The bill being cobbled at the moment is not a compromise but rather a surrender to extortion,” Liberman wrote in his various social networking accounts.
“The ultimatum of no draft law no budget” was put forward by the Haredi parties,” Liberman argued, adding, “The ultimatum of ‘if a draft bill doesn’t pass in a second and third Knesset reading by the government is dissolved’ was issued by the Haredi parties.”
“Anyone who wants to surrender to blackmail, let them surrender surrender, Yisrael Beiteinu will support only a bill drafted by the defense establishment and the IDF,” Liberman declared.
The Likud and Habayit Hayehudi factions are working on a compromise according to which the Haredi partners would give up their idea of a constitutional law that essentially equates military service with Torah learning – in return for a new military draft law that includes target recruitment quotas but without criminal sanctions. The new version has already been approved by the attorney general.
The only mechanism planned for pushing Haredi recruitment is that the law would expire should the target quotas are not met – throwing the political system back into limbo.
Haredi politicians have intimated that they, too, would like to see the crisis be resolved, and that the real reason it isn’t has to do with Prime Minister Netanyahu’s reluctance to take the bill away from the center of public attention, lest the public turn their attention to the PM’s other troubles: the fact that several of his closest advisers have flipped and are singing their hearts out in different police interrogation rooms.
According to those insiders, Netanyahu will eventually side with a simple compromise bill that would satisfy his partners, including Liberman – but not too soon.