Defense Minister's party won't vote for haredi draft law

Yisrael Beytenu party promises to vote against the law unless it is properly discussed and relevant changes are inserted.

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Arutz Sheva Staff,

Avigdor Liberman
Avigdor Liberman
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Haredi-religious Knesset members are expected to bring the new induction law to a vote in the Knesset plenum on Wednesday, according to News 2.

The new Basic Law would declare that the study of the Torah has a supreme value.

It will come up against the demand of Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), who has promised that his party will not vote for the new law.

However, the haredi parties - Shas and UTJ -believe that they can achieve the majority required for a Basic Law even without the Yisrael Beytenu party.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Liberman said that his party "will not allow the law to pass unless without a discussion...and the insertion of the changes we demand." This, Liberman insisted, would happen "even if it comes at the cost of breaking apart the coalition."

"If this law goes up for a preliminary vote, every party member - including Aliya and Absorption Minister Sofa Landver - will vote against it, even if it comes at the cost of the coalition," Liberman said.

By enshrining Torah study as a "basic value" of the State of Israel, the new law would allow the government to circumvent the court's ruling and enable it to grant draft exemptions or deferments to those enrolled full-time in a yeshiva institution.

The haredi parties have also threatened to refuse to vote on the 2019 budget if their new "Basic Law" is not passed. According to them, finding a solution to enable yeshiva students not to serve in the IDF is part of their coalition agreement, and the new "Basic Law' is the fulfillment of that coalition agreement.

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) said the haredi parties are the "most stable" partners in the coalition and "there is no reason for arguments on the matter."

MK Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu) wrote a letter to Coalition Chairman David Amsalem (Likud) noting that "at the meeting this week, which the heads of the coalition parties attended, the topic of haredi enlistment did not even come up. Therefore, bringing the law to vote is underhanded opportunism, which we cannot accept."

He also reiterated Liberman's promise that his entire party would vote against the law if it was brought for a vote.