Gallant accuses Gantz of playing political games with Haredi conscription law, says he expected more from him

Defense Minister Yoav Gallant accuses war cabinet minister Benny Gantz of playing political games with the debate surrounding ultra-Orthodox conscription to the IDF and says he expected better of him.

Speaking to the press, Gallant says he believes a compromise can be found for the controversial draft legislation and reiterates that he will not sign off on any law that is not agreed upon by all members of the governing coalition, including Gantz’s National Unity party.

As a result of extensive efforts, Gallant says he believes it is possible for all sides to come to an agreement.

“The differences are small,” he says, “but it requires all parties — Benny Gantz and others who hold similar positions, as well as representatives of the ultra-Orthodox parties and…Likud and the right-wing parties. They need to transcend narrow political considerations and show leadership.”

Warning against engaging in “petty politics on the backs of soldiers,” Gallant says, “History and the public will not forget those who put political considerations before the essential considerations in a time of war.”

Directing his criticism at Gantz, the defense minister says he had expected him “to show the necessary leadership in wartime,” in conversations around the conscription law but that, “despite the opportunity he was given, he did not do so.”

He also criticizes the ultra-Orthodox parties United Torah Judaism and Shas for not being more willing to compromise on the matter.

In a response to Gallant, Gantz’s office refutes charges of him having acted on political considerations, saying, “It should be stressed that neither Gantz nor any of his people who conducted dialogue with Gallant’s office and with the Haredi parties ever agreed to conscription legislation in exchange for agreeing on a date for elections.”

Gantz’s office praises Gallant for taking a firm stance on the conscription law and says that the war cabinet minister will continue to stand together with him “against those who seek to harm the people’s army at this time.”

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