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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Criminal sanctions for Haredi draft avoiders... in exchange for Tzachi HaNegbi

Arutz Sheva blows the lid off what ought to be a huge scandal: The Likud voted in favor of criminal sanctions against Haredi draft avoiders in return for Yair Lapid and Yesh Atid agreeing that Netanyahu protege Tzachi HaNegbi (left) would be named chair of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Exclusive sources revealed the deal to Arutz Sheva Tuesday afternoon, explaining that the move allowed the criminal sanctions - a clause Yesh Atid insists must be included in the Equal Burden of Service Law - to pass in the Shaked Committee, and for Hanegbi, who is a member of Netanyahu's own party, to be placed in a government position strategically important for the Prime Minister. 
MK Ofer Shelah (Yesh Atid) was also due to serve as head of the key committee, but only toward the end of the current Knesset term. A rotation agreement was worked out after Netanyahu refused to immediately promote Shelah to the position, when it was vacated by Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Last week, Prime Minister Netanyahu spontaneously ordered the vote over sanctions to be frozen after conflict erupted between the hareidi parties and the rest of the Committee board.
That conflict, over hesder yeshiva service, was in direct response to the criminal sanctions bid. As a United Torah Judaism MK explained to Arutz Sheva, the hareidi community views the clause as a threat. "You push us, we push back," he declared. 
Opponents to the move to enact criminal sanctions warn that the proposal has already alienated the hareidi community, noting that the Shas party quit the Shaked Committee over the move.
There's something else implied here: That Yesh Atid and the Likud combined to sell out hesder (whose soldiers saw their active service increased from 16 months to 24). I'm sure Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett is pleased with his brilliance.... Sara Netanyahu is probably pleased too.

And by the way, remember how Netanyahu spontaneously ordered the vote frozen? Sure you do: He told Tzachi HaNegbi to walk out....

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