MK Aryeh Eldad (National Union) warned he will mount a filibuster to block a new security service bill that would allow the Israeli Police to use IDF soldiers instead of hiring police officers at higher salaries.
"The IDF complains it is thousands of soldiers short of what it needs to fulfill its mission, but in this bill the government seeks to take thousands of more and shunt them to the police service as though the army were a cheap labor pool," Eldad told the Knesset Presidium on Monday.
"No one is arguing that police officers don't fulfill an important societal role, but government should not use soldiers to do a police officer's job just because they are cheaper and the government doesn't want to hire more police at higher salaries.
"The use of soldiers at the IPS has no motive other than pinching pennies," Eldad stressed, "This is to save money. Instead, fund the IPS properly and hire police officers or pay soldiers accordingly. Do not cheapen the Amy by treating it like a cheap labor source."
"Its absurd. If the IDF needs more soldiers why take soldiers away? If the IPS performs life-saving work, hire the olice officers to do it. If Israel implements this law it will look like soldiers are only recruited to save money and that police work is not an important enough profession to uderwrite."
"If the government pursues this law I will have no choice but to mount an endless filibuster," he said.
Two weeks ago the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee expressed broad displeasure at an amendment that would undersign 1,800 soldiers to the IPS every year.
A vote taken by the committee, headed by Shaul Mofaz, at that time showed decisive opposition for the law.
Today's Presidium meeting was held when Mofaz was absent and Meir Sheetrit, a staunch proponent of the security services law, was filling in form him.
The coalition also recruited two members of Yisrael Bateinu (Israel Our Home) to fill in other vacancies in order to approve the second and third readings of the law over Eldad's objections.
Eldad was furious and said "the government thinks a majority is up for grabs if it can reshuffle the deck."
He also informed the Presidium he plans to read out some 5,000 reservations about the law in the Knesset as a means of blocking the government from pushing it through.