Yisrael Beytenu chief Avigdor Liberman slams coalition plans to exempt ultra-Orthodox youth from the military draft, following a Sunday meeting of coalition heads on the matter.
“We’ll split into two Israels: those who go to the army and those who go to the yeshiva,” Liberman says, with his party’s slogan “equality in sharing the burden” emblazoned behind him.
Liberman says that there are currently 170,000 Israelis enrolled in religious study, and estimates that this number will jump to a quarter million should the proposed Basic Law: Torah Study pass and give a basis for sweeping exemptions.
Liberman says the timing of the political decision is ironic given that overnight Israel launched Operation Bayit Vegan in the West Bank city of Jenin.
While saying he supports the security forces, Liberman criticized Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to launch the operation without convening his cabinet.
“It shows how much Netanyahu doesn’t value his ministers and doesn’t trust them,” he says.