Degel Hatorah MKs accuse Likud of obstruction

Degel Hatorah MKs favoring compromise accuse Likud of unwillingness to convene for long-term solution that would solve draft crisis.

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Mordechai Sones,

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Unlike Agudat Yisrael Knesset Members, Degel Hatorah MKs support compromise and dialogue to end the Draft Law crisis. This morning, however, senior Degel officials accused the Likud of unwillingness to convene to formulate a long-term solution that would solve it.

"The feeling in the haredi parties is that the Likud is not in any hurry to find a solution and cooperation isn't going well. The ruling party and the other parties understand there will be no compromise on the part of haredim regarding regulating yeshiva students' status, but they're in no hurry to formulate a suitable solution despite the understanding that the situation will lead to dissolution of the Knesset and early elections," claims the Yated Ne'eman newspaper, representing the Degel Hatorah position.

The newspaper explained that Likud indifference stems from the understanding that elections at the present time are likely to benefit them. "The only party that doesn't fear elections is the Likud, for whom polls predict a very significant increase despite all Netanyahu's investigations, while the right-wing public increases its support for the beleaguered Netanyahu. At the same time, the Prime Minister is busy strengthening the second element in his election platform: Bolstering his political image and the royal honors he's now receiving in the United States. In light of all this, the feeling in the Knesset corridors is that the Likud is prepared to reach a situation where the coalition falls apart now because of the Draft Law and not because of Netanyahu's investigations."

"There are two voices in the Likud, there is the Prime Minister who declares he wants a solution, but then there are his people here who speak a completely different language," said MK Uri Maklev, who is in charge of negotiations with the Likud on behalf of Degel Hatorah.

"They also call us blackmailers; our demand that the coalition commitment be upheld is termed blackmail! They don't cooperate with any plan that we offer or that comes from any other mediator. It's clear to us that they aspire to elections, perhaps also because someone in the Likud smells the end of the Netanyahu era," he added.

The Degel Hatorah movement made it clear this morning that talks have so far been on the verge of collapse and there is currently no agreed-upon outline from the coalition that can be advanced and brought to decision by Torah Sages.

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