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Likud Joins Opposition to Enlistment Plan

Coalition Chairman Levin says Arabs must be drafted too, and not just hareidim.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 5/25/2013, 10:19 PM

MK Yariv Levin
MK Yariv Levin
Flash 90

A prominent Likud legislator has joined the multi-pronged attack on the plan for drafting hareidim into the military that is to be presented before the Cabinet Sunday by Minister Yaakov Perry of Yesh Atid, who headed the committee that presented the plan last week.

Coalition Chairman Yariv Levin told Channel 10 that the Perry Committee plan does not constitute equality in sharing the burden of enlistment, but is “a bluff.”

"This is a hoax, it is an anti-hareidi campaign and not a campaign for equality in military service. Equality in service means equality for everyone, and that has to include the Arab populace,” Levin added. “There, too, one needs to differentiate. The enlistment of Christian Arabs into the army needs to be examined. They are interested in this.

There is disagreement over another matter – the lengthening of military service for Hesder yeshiva students,” he said. “This is a clear deviation from the coalition agreements.”

Levin joins voices from Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu that have pointed to the unfairness of exempting Arabs from military service. Opposition to the Perry Committee's recommendations from Yesh Atid's three major coalition partners could be a mortal blow to the plan, which was Yesh Atid's central plank in the elections and which was a major condition for entering the coalition.

Of Friday, Minister Uri Ariel of Bayit Yehudi promised that his party would insist on drafting Arabs as well as hareidim. A day earlier, Yisrael Beytenu made a similar vow. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has yet to weigh in on the matter.