Lapid: We'll quit gov't if haredim aren't drafted

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid: The Perry Committee's proposal for drafting haredim must be accepted.

Yesh Atid chairman, Minister of Finance Yair Lapid, says that the party will quit the government unless the Perry Committee's proposal for the drafting of haredim (ultra-orthodox) into the IDF is accepted. "I want to be absolutely clear: there will be an equal sharing of the burden, or this government will be dissolved," he told a meeting of the party's MKs.

"From the beginning, Yesh Atid decided to be the responsible part of the government, on the budget, Knesset votes, and I have paid a price for sitting in the coalition in a difficult job. If anyone thinks that I entered politics just to solve the catastrophe left by the previous government, he does not understand. Anyone who thinks that we will fold on the issue of equal sharing of the burden simply does not understand us and does not know us," Lapid said.

"Any attempt to torpedo the Perry Committee in favor of the haredi politicians will result in the dissolving of the coalition. There is an historic opportunity here to correct this wound which is bleeding in the heart of Israeli society. Those who try to foil the law harm the country and the principle that every young man goes to the draft office to be inducted. I call on the coalition parties, beginning with the ruling party, to regain their composure and behave properly. This game jeopardizes the existence of this government, and is preventing the correction of a historic injustice whose time should come to an end."

Lapid spoke in response to last night's collapse of talks by the Perry Committee following a disagreement by committee chairman MK Yaakov Perry (Yesh Atid) and Minister of Defense Moshe Ya'alon of the Likud over the section on mandatory service for everyone. The committee originally proposed automatic implementation of the Defense Service Law on all draft dodgers, including haredim, while Yaalon asked that the defense minister have the authority to impose these sanctions. The committee also failed to approve a clause for imposing personal sanctions against the heads of yeshivas who fail to provide declarations about their students who are not drafted.

Yesh Atid is furious that these clauses were not approved. In a statement yesterday, it said, "The conduct by the Likud-Beitenu ministers in the discussions of the Perry Committee for sharing the burden is a gross violation of the coalition agreement and jeopardizes the historic opportunity to achieve equal sharing of the military and economic burden. Applying the duty of service and the Defense Service Law on the entire population is a critical step in creating equality in Israeli society and its absence jeopardizes the continued existence of the coalition."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 27, 2013

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013

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