TV report says Netanyahu sending assurances to Haredi parties in effort to solve draft law crisis

In an unsourced report, Channel 12 news claims Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has conveyed a message to the Haredi parties that “he will be sure to compensate them retroactively” if the High Court intervenes and decides to temporarily deny state funding for Haredi institutions in the context of the battle over drafting Haredim.

Netanyahu, according to the report, apparently believes the court might issue a ruling to this effect if the judges find that the current government policy exempting Haredim from military and national service is illegal, at which point Haredim who do not serve would be considered to be breaching the law, and they and the institutions where they study would be denied state funds.

Thus, the report says, the prime minister is assuring his ultra-Orthodox coalition partners that financial allocations for full-time Haredi Torah students will be increased to compensate for the lost funds once a new draft law is passed — the implication being that this new law will broadly maintain the current contentious blanket exemption for Haredim from military or national service.

By sending this assurance, Netanyahu, says the report, is signaling to the ultra-Orthodox parties that it is in their interests to help him find acceptable terms for a new draft law rather than bringing down the coalition and giving them justification for staying in a coalition on whose watch state funding for their institutions is being halted.

The report also says that Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara is prepared to defend the state, which has sought additional time from the court to try to legislate a new draft law, provided she is persuaded by the end of this month that the government is indeed credibly seeking to advance and pass such legislation.

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