Three days before the expiration of the ultimatum set by Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to accept the conclusions presented in the Plesner Committee’s report, the crisis in the coalition continued on Friday.
Netanyahu said on Thursday evening that he would be willing to impose personal sanctions on hareidim who evade service, but on Friday it was reported that he had backed down from this position, which is strongly supported by Mofaz.
Channel 2 News reported that on Friday morning, Netanyahu's office released a statement which said that he intends to appoint a team, comprised of ministers Moshe Ya'alon, Yossi Peled and members of Kadima. The team will be assigned the task of formulating, by Wednesday, a new conscription bill based on the Plesner Committee’s conclusions.
Mofaz, however, rejected Netanyahu’s announcement outright and said in a statement of his own, “There will be no additional committees. The Plesner Committee’s conclusions are the only conclusions on the basis of which we can proceed. After a day of negotiations it became clear that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is not ready to publicly adopt the recommendations of the Plesner Committee but rather intends to establish another committee. It's time to legislate a real law for equality in burden.”
Meanwhile, sources in Kadima told Channel 2 that Netanyahu “turned over,” adding that “he understands and takes into account the price that will be collected from him if he makes a move against the hareidim.”
Netanyahu’s aides said in response that “Netanyahu has already committed to make a historic move,” and rejected the claims that the team Netanyahu wishes to establish is “an establishment of another committee.”
Mofaz, meanwhile, announced on Friday afternoon that he intends to take part in a rally on Saturday night organized by soldiers and reservists who have dubbed themselves "suckers" for bearing the burden of military service.
“IDF soldiers are part of my own flesh,” Mofaz said, according to a Channel 10 News report. “This is a struggle about the future and the character of Israel. I’ll come to the rally because the struggle is just and the change is needed, and I call on all the citizens of Israel to come and take part in the struggle. Together we will lead the change.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)