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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

It's official: 'Equal burden' law passes Knesset

In 2014, Israel is about to become the only country in the world where a Jew can be jailed for studying Torah. That's because on Wednesday morning, the 'equal burden' law passed the Knesset 67-1, the one being Yoni Chetboun of the Jewish Home party. The opposition, a hodgepodge of parties from the Right and the Left, boycotted the session, as they did Tuesday's session on electoral reform. The law includes criminal sanctions against boys who opt to study Torah rather than join the IDF.

This is from the first link.
"This is a historic, important bill," MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), who led the Knesset committee to prepare the legislation, declared. "For 65 years there was an exemption for all yeshiva students and the change the coalition made is proportionate and gradual and correct."

Shaked added that she "believes in the haredi public and that it will reach the [enlistment] goals the government set. If there will be cooperation from haredi leadership, there will not be mandatory enlistment.
Good luck with that

Back to the first link again...
"I imagine this court will reach the High Court by tomorrow. I hope the judges will read the protocols of the committee meetings and see that even if the law is not equal it has a worthy goal, which is why I think it will stand the test of the High Court," she added.

Immediately after the new law passed., the Movement for Quality Government petitioned the High Court against it.
Since when does a 'worthy goal' get a law through the 'High Court'? Oh wait, I forgot, it depends who thinks the goal is 'worthy.'
Science and Technology Minister Yaakov Peri, who headed a committee on the matter of haredi enlistment, said following the passage of the bill, " For the first time, an issue at the heart of the conflict of Israeli society, will be solved. Dramatic change will come."

Meanwhile, Likud MK Moshe Feiglin praised Jewish Home MK Yoni Chetboun for having the courage of his convictions... but Feiglin did not join him in voting against.
"Yesterday, I sent an SMS of support to MK Yoni Chetboun,” wrote Feiglin on Facebook. “Not because I agree with him – but simply because I appreciate any person who goes against the stream and is willing to pay a price for standing up for his principles. I did this with MK Adi Kol, also, after she veered a little from the sacred Coalition discipline and was tarred and feathered by her boss.
"This whole idea of Coalition discipline needs rethinking,” Feiglin added. “Is it really the only way?”
"Sometimes, I entertain 'heretical' thoughts. I would like to set up a government without Coalition discipline. Let every MK be truly responsible for the laws he passes and also for maintaining the government. Let changing wall-to-wall coalitions and oppositions form around every law. Let the Knesset cease being a 'law machine' and restore lost pride to itself and its members.”
Fat chance. Take responsibility for their actions? In what world?

Chetboun had clear vision about this bill.
“On the one hand, the members of the Jewish Home party, and chief among them MK Ayelet Shaked, really made a very significant effort so that this law, as I have said in the past, will be workable for the hareidi community,” he told Arutz Sheva Tuesday. "On the other hand, as time goes on – and particularly over the last twenty-four hours – I feel that we are creating a serious schism between us and the Torah world, and the hareidi community.”

“I see Israeli society being split apart by this law. I’m sure nobody meant for that to happen,” he continued. Talk surrounding the law “is creating a message that is against the Torah world, against the yeshivas. That disrespects them,” he lamented. “I felt deep inside that I must listen to my conscience, and that I cannot vote for this law."
By the way, Yesh Atid's Adi Kol said that she voted in favor of the law, but didn't really support it. Where would be without coalition discipline?

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At 12:07 PM, Blogger Seth said...

Learning torah comes a distant second to KEEPING it. There are for reasons for not fighting in a milchemet mitzvah, which defending the state is, and avoiding the military by shteiging away in kollel while living on state charity isn't one of them.

At 6:22 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

MK's will take responsibility for their actions when Israel moves to a district-based system of representation, as in the United States. In the meantime, coalition discipline is the only actual way to keep MKs responsible to the voters.


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