Cabinet secretary blames Gallant as government fails to advance Haredi enlistment proposal

Jeremy Sharon is The Times of Israel’s legal affairs and settlements reporter

Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs arrives for a meeting with families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, as well as Israelis who were released from the terror group's captivity, in Herzliya, on December 5, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs arrives for a meeting with families of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza, as well as Israelis who were released from the terror group's captivity, in Herzliya, on December 5, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

Cabinet Secretary Yossi Fuchs blames Defense Minister Yoav Gallant for the government’s failure to advance an outline plan to resolve the ultra-Orthodox enlistment conundrum it is currently facing, alleging that Gallant has refused to cooperate with the government’s efforts to find a solution, according to a letter published by the Kan public broadcaster.

Fuchs claims in the letter sent to cabinet ministers that the Attorney General’s Office “is precisely aware of the background” to the proposed ultra-Orthodox enlistment targets in the government’s proposed outline for legislation, which is supposed to be formalized in a cabinet decision, but that Gallant’s alleged refusal to cooperate meant that the government could not append the professional position of the defense ministry to its proposal.

“My request to append a declaration on my behalf describing the staff work that was done with representatives of the Defense Ministry which supports the section on [ultra-Orthodox] enlistment targets to ‘cure’ the ‘deficiency’ of ‘not having received a professional position from the Defense Ministry,’ was also refused,” writes Fuchs.

He says that as a result, the cabinet will not convene today, since it will not be legally possible to adopt the proposed cabinet resolution since the Attorney General’s Office would not be able to defend it in the High Court of Justice owing to the lack of professional input from the Defense Ministry.

Gallant denies Fuch’s allegations, describing them as “biased and false” and saying that every request for cooperation or information from the professional ranks of the Defense Ministry “was answered affirmatively.” He also says his ministry will continue to cooperate “in order to arrive at a law which has the consensus of all parts of the emergency government which will meet security needs.”

Today is the deadline given by the High Court of Justice to the government to respond to petitions demanding the immediate drafting of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students, and it is now unclear how the government will answer the court in light of Fuch’s letter.

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