Gantz warns again: Passing Netanyahu’s Haredi draft proposal ‘will harm unity and security’

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed Haredi enlistment law poses a security threat and will harm the unity of the governing coalition, National Unity chairman Benny Gantz warns.

Speaking during a tour of the northern front, Gantz says that “it is not possible that precisely while all of society is mobilized and making an effort for their home that the government will promote a law that crumbles its foundations.”

“In National Unity, we see the importance of preserving tradition and learning the Torah, and alongside this importance, we have placed a clear outline of service that includes the establishment of an administration, quotas, targets, financial sanctions, as well as service incentives,” he says.

But while his party wants to come to an agreement on enlistment, “we want a solution for recruitment, not an exemption from recruitment,” Gantz states, asserting that the “enactment of a law such as the government intends to pass will harm unity and harm security.”

“I cannot be part of a government that passes such a law at all, and especially during wartime,” Gantz says, reiterating his Sunday threat to bolt the coalition.

Gantz’s comments come after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, responding to Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara’s warning that she would be unable to defend his proposed Haredi enlistment law as currently formulated, releases a revised version of the plan.

The new plan scraps a clause raising the exemption age for yeshiva students to 35 and instead sets annual recruitment targets and imposing financial penalties on yeshivas that fail to meet these quotas.

In a separate statement, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid reiterates his earlier criticism that the proposal is a “fraud” that will not lead to even one Haredi man enlisting.

Most Popular