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      Mofaz, Netanyahu Meet, Talk About Draft Law

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz meet about the new draft law. Meeting ends without progress.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 7/12/2012, 5:13 AM

      Netanyahu and Mofaz
      Netanyahu and Mofaz
      Israel news photo: Flash 90

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz met on Wednesday evening in an attempt to find a solution to the crisis created by the failure to find a mutually acceptable new draft law.

      Channel 10 News reported that the meeting ended without significant progress and the two agreed that Minister Moshe Ya'alon and Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner would meet again on Thursday in an attempt to achieve a breakthrough.

      Netanyahu and Mofaz’s meeting came after Plesner and Ya’alon failed to come up with an agreed upon alternative in a meeting on Wednesday, and Kadima officials charged that Ya’alon withdrew from agreements reached between the two parties so far on the new draft law.

      The Ya’alon-Plesner working group was a last ditch effort to keep Kadima in the government after a previous committee headed by Plesner was disbanded by Netanyahu.

      Ya’alon responded to Wednesday evening’s allegations by saying the distance between the two sides was actually reduced in the session, adding he believed it was still possible to reach an agreement on that would allow Kadima to remain in the government.

      Channel 10 reported that following the meeting with Netanyahu, Mofaz went to meet with about 150 young hareidim and spoke about the negotiations on the wording of the new draft law.

      “Kadima has a great responsibility in the process of ensuring equal burden,” he was quoted as having said. “If we do not succeed in formulating a bill in the coming days, I believe it will not happen in the next 15 years because I do not believe there will be a coalition of this size.”

      Mofaz said most of the members of his party support Kadima remaining in the government and continuing negotiations to formulate a law. He stressed that as long as there is a chance for negotiations, Kadima will continue them.

      However, said Mofaz, Kadima’s staying in the government depends on formulating a new draft law. “If it is necessary, we will leave. If we do not reach that agreement, on a bill that needs to be constitutive and historical, we won’t be there.”

      He promised the young hareidim that in the new law “all your ways of life will be maintained. The law will be gradual and measured. I did not come to fight the hareidi population. I am on your side.”

      Mofaz noted that the government is holding consultations with religious authorities on the subject, saying, “This dialogue is taking place, it’s not taking place in the media, we consult with rabbis. It's a very sensitive subject that we are treating in a thoughtful manner. I think we’ve found a way.”