UTJ party head threatens to topple government if Haredi draft law not passed next

File: Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf attends a conference in Tel Aviv on March 22, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)
File: Housing and Construction Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf attends a conference in Tel Aviv on March 22, 2023. (Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90)

A senior coalition partner of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu explicitly threatens to bring down the government if a law providing a blanket exemption from military service for Haredi yeshiva students isn’t legislated before any further judicial overhaul legislation.

United Torah Judaism party chief Yitzhak Goldknopf tells the Kikar Hashabbat news site that the ultra-Orthodox parties made a mistake by not insisting on legislating the enlistment law before the current government was formed in December.

He says the law has been postponed time after time, with coalition officials explaining that the atmosphere was too volatile for such a move.

He says the instruction from UTJ rabbis that “without a draft law, there is no government” is still in effect, rejecting any softening of the planned legislation.

The interviewer then asks: “Does this mean that without a draft law there is no government?”

“It’s possible, yes, it seems like that,” Goldknopf answers.

“This is a commitment by Likud to us that nothing else will pass” before the draft law,” he says, presenting a document signed by the government secretary.

Pressed by the interviewer, Goldknopf says all Haredi parties have told Netanyahu that they will vote against any judicial overhaul bill as long as the draft law hasn’t passed.

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