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Monday, May 27, 2013

Who's a criminal?

A meeting of the Peri Committee, which is tasked with drafting legislation to draft Haredim, broke up in acrimony early Monday morning, after the Chairman, Yaakov Peri (Yesh Atid) and the Defense Minister, Moshe Yaalon (Likud), disagreed over criminal sanctions for 18-year old yeshiva students who refuse to enlist in the IDF.

This is from the first link.
Yesh Atid ministers accused Likud-Beytenu of violating the coalition agreement by not agreeing to criminal sanctions for haredim refusing to enlist.
In response, Likud posited that Yesh Atid was overreacting to distract from the criticism Finance Minister Yair Lapid has received over his budget proposal.
Likud sources said a compromise could have been reached with Yesh Atid Minister Yaakov Peri, the committee's chairman, but he left the room, and after talking to [Yair] Lapid, said that the Yesh Atid leader would not allow him to compromise on the issue.
The Likud sources claimed that "it's Yesh Atid violating the coalition agreement not Ya'alon. There won't be a coalition crisis unless Yesh Atid wants one."
Likud Deputy Minister Ophir Akunis called on Yesh Atid to "stop the political spin, the election is over," in an Israel Radio interview.
Army Radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would likely intervene to mediate the differences on draft policy.
Netanyahu didn't want the Haredi draft in the first place, and didn't want a coalition without Haredim. Or so he said anyway. It was Lapid and Bennett who insisted that Haredim not be part of the coalition.

So where is Bennett in all this?
Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett downplayed the crisis in an Army Radio interview on Monday morning, stating that the coalition members "agree on more than we disagree."
"No one wants to see police conduct mass arrests on Bnei Brak but we want there to be enough incentives for haredim to serve. We will meet and find a solution. I am very optimistic."
What are 'criminal sanctions' if not arresting those who refuse to enlist? Are they going to impose criminal sanctions or aren't they? And if they are going to impose criminal sanctions, are they going to be limited to Haredim (even the 'Supreme Court' might strike that down), or is there going to be a uniform standard?

As to who is violating the coalition agreement by calling or not calling for criminal sanctions, if this JPost report from March is correct, it's Yesh Atid that's violating the coalition agreement. 
Anyone wishing to defer their national service for religious studies may do so until age 21, when they will have to perform either military or civilian service, with the Defense Ministry and IDF given first choice on who will be drafted into the army. The remainder will go to civilian service, will which – for the majority of recruits – consist of “substantial service” in the Police, Ambulance, or Fire and Rescue services as well as the IDF Home Front Command and the voluntary emergency response service ZAKA. Those serving in the Civilian Service will be paid less than those in the IDF.
Anyone refusing to serve without an exemption will be subject to personal economic sanctions. Yeshivot with high percentages of students who refuse to serve will also have financial penalties levied against them.
Emphases mine, but note that under the coalition agreement, no one was supposed to be subject to any sanctions at age 18, and that the sanctions for refusing to serve were to be 'personal economic' sanctions and not criminal ones. 

If Lapid is looking for a showdown with the Haredim, he's pointing in the right direction. There have been signs all over the city for the last two weeks with pictures of a mass rally saying '50,000 people are willing to be killed rather than going to the army.' It looks like both sides are spoiling for a fight.

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At 12:21 PM, Blogger Shy Guy said...

I'll be frank:

In my opinion, all of the sides are at fault, from the little political ketanim to the big rabbinic gedolim.

Hashem Yerachem.

Moshe Rabbeinu had it right: fall down on the ground, hold your head in your hands and daven that Hashem should have pity on us.


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