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Monday, March 05, 2018 

Haredi parties' threats to damage coalition is shameful at a time when terrorism should be main concern

The Haredi political parties, caring only about exemptions from serving in the army, have caused a coalition crisis:
Overnight efforts to resolve the coalition crisis failed Sunday, fueling speculations that early elections may soon be unavoidable.

The crisis was sparked by Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism's threat to stall the vote on the state budget unless its amendment to Israel's Defense Service Law is passed. The amendment aims to legally anchor exemptions from military service for ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students.

The issue of mandatory military service for the ultra-Orthodox sector has dogged Israeli politics for years. Many in the ultra-Orthodox community believe military service should be secondary to Torah study. However, secular Israelis oppose being expected to shoulder the burden without any contribution by a substantial sector of the population.

Shas, the Sephardi ultra-Orthodox party, has voiced support for the controversial legislation.

The new legislation stipulates that as long as enough religious soldiers enlist to meet quotas set annually by the government, all other Torah scholars will not be drafted. Last year, the quota was 3,200 ultra-Orthodox recruits, but in fact only 2,850 actually reported for duty.

It also stipulates that the government enact measures, ranging from sanctions to incentives, to help the ultra-Orthodox population meet the quotas – including lowering the threshold number. These measures would have to be approved by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, but if it declined to approve them, the Knesset plenum would have an opportunity to override the committee.
So these socialists are only worried about their own narrow interests and make it sound like they won't even help to battle the much more important matter of Iran's nuclear threats. This is very disgraceful. Even if, as some polls indicate, the Likud is still bound to be elected for another term of running the government, that doesn't mean the Haredis should be causing all this trouble, and for that, they should be panned. Of course, if the Kulani party intends to vote against the budget, then they're guilty too.

If they're all smart, they'll stop this atrocity at once and start concentrating on the real issues at hand like Iran's Islamofascism. But if they don't, then they don't deserve to continue in the Knesset.

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