The Netanyahu coalition over the past two weeks has been promoting a new military draft law, in which, according to Walla, the Haredi partners demand a new clause granting the State of Israel’s official recognition of Torah study as a value. The clause would deal legally with the claim of inequality between those who enlist in the IDF and those who study Torah instead.
Walla quotes an anonymous senior coalition official who said “the Likud gave it agreement in principle” to the Torah study clause.
The proposed Haredi clause will state that “the government views Torah study as a goal and an objective that is important for the strengthening and spiritual might of the Jewish people.” Of course, the actual text is expected to undergo changes based on the consent or opposition other coalition partners.
A month ago, according to Walla, the heads of the ultra-Orthodox parties Shas and United Torah Judaism announced in-camera that they would have to give up using the “cessation clause” in the case of the new draft bill, mainly due to the opposition of Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu faction.
The cessation clause, originally a Canadian parliamentary device, enables the Knesset to legislate for a set period of four years legislation which fails to meet the conditions of the Knesset Basic Law: Freedom of Occupation—resulting in the violation of human rights, subject to three conditions: the deviation is part of a law; the law contains an explicit indication of the exception; and the law is approved by a special majority of at least 61 Knesset members. After four years, the cessation clause ends, but it is possible to renew it immediately.
Using the 61-vote majority would have prevented a future disqualification of the new draft law by the High Court of Justice.
Last summer, the High Court of Justice revoked an earlier version of the draft law which granted yeshiva students an exemption from military service through 2023.