MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas) expressed doubt on Wednesday that mass enlistment by hareidi religious youth would take place in the coming days, despite the expiration of the Tal Law, warning that doing so would mean the end of the coalition.
The Tal Law that exempted full time yeshiva students, most of them hareidi religious youth, from enlisting the army expired as of Wednesday, seemingly leaving in its place the law requiring all Jewish men to join the IDF.
Ze’ev predicted during an interview with Arutz Sheva that there is no chance that the army will forcefully draft yeshiva students, saying, “Ordering yeshiva students to be drafted will be like issuing thousands of demolition and administrative orders which in practice are not realized. No one really intends to start a political and cultural war against the Torah world.”
He noted that the power remained in the hands of the Defense Minister who can continue to postpone drafting the yeshiva students. “This possibility exists. The Defense Minister understands that beginning a process of recruiting yeshiva students will end the current government and no one has such an intention. The Kadima, Independence and Likud parties are not ready for elections nor do they want elections.”
Attempts to replace the Tal Law were virtually doomed from the beginning, when Kadima joined the government in a new national unity coalition based on the principle of a “universal draft.”
Within nine weeks, the deal fell apart following political chess matches between Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
A new attempt to pass legislation replacing the Tal Law will not occur before the Knesset returns to work after the summer vacation and High Holidays that begin with Rosh HaShanah in mid-September.
On Tuesday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak instructed the IDF to begin implementing the Security Service Law vis-à-vis the hareidim.
Barak gave the military a month to come up with a practical formula for enlistment of hareidim, which is to serve as a stopgap measure until an alternative to the Tal Law is legislated by the Knesset.
Ze’ev told Arutz Sheva he believed the only solution to the crisis is a new law that will promote a gradual draft process for hareidim, such as the bill being promoted by Minister Moshe Ya’alon.
“The true intent of the Prime Minister and Minister Moshe Ya'alon is to gradually open all channels, expand the hareidi Netzach Yehuda and Shachar Kachol bridages, so it will be possible to increase the number of hareidim who enlist.” He said. “As of today, the IDF in any case is not prepared to absorb everyone.”