Hareidi MKs welcomed on Saturday night the announcement of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who said he would quit the coalition if the new draft law did not impose criminal sanctions on hareidim who evade army service.
“We would be delighted if Lapid resigns from the government,” said MK Menachem Eliezer Moses of the United Torah Judaism party.
“We are working hard to ensure that the draft law does not pass at all and that if it does it will not include criminal sanctions. We would be happy if Lapid resigns as soon as possible so that we can stop the terrible damage that he has already done since taking office.”
MK Meir Porush, also of United Torah Judaism, said that Lapid’s only goal is to increase the divisions in the nation and see the hareidim in jail.
"Lapid does not want hareidim in the army, he would prefer to see them in prison," said Porush, adding, “Hareidi Judaism will not remain silent over the actions of the government, which seeks to place Torah scholars in prison. Hareidi Judaism will fight and will continue to learn Torah, even if we have to go underground.”
In an interview on Channel 2 earlier, Lapid said that the draft new law has majority support, and warned that "if there won't be criminal sanctions we'll leave the government."
Lapid asked for the sanctions not to be called as such, saying that "there's a Security Service Law (compelling enlistment) that needs to be applied to everyone, and will be applied to everyone."
Last Thursday saw intense protests of thousands of hareidim in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak and Ashdod, which were sparked by Lapid's decision to retroactively cut funding for all yeshivas following a Supreme Court decision.
The decision called on the government to annul funds for yeshivas with students whose draft was postponed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon until the new law arranged their enlistment.
MK Yaakov Asher (United Torah Judaism) last Thursday accused Lapid of manipulating the situation for political gain.
“He doesn't want us in the army, he wants hareidi violence on the streets. That gives him mandates,” said Asher.