Daily Israel Report

MK on Enlistment Bill's 'Anti-Hareidi Message'

MK Chetboun warns Enlistment Bill will rip Israeli society apart, says he ‘won’t play Yesh Atid’s game.’
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 3/11/2014, 9:38 PM

Chetboun (right)
Chetboun (right)
Israel news photo: Flash 90

MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) spoke to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday, shortly after he angered his party and the Coalition with the surprise declaration that he plans to vote against the Enlistment Bill.

Chetboun explained what led him to vote against the bill on drafting hareidi men to the army.

“On the one hand, the members of the Jewish Home party, and chief among them MK Ayelet Shaked, really made a very significant effort so that this law, as I have said in the past, will be workable for the hareidi community,” he began.

However, he continued, “On the other hand, as time goes on – and particularly over the last twenty-four hours – I feel that we are creating a serious schism between us and the Torah world, and the hareidi community.”

“I see Israeli society being split apart by this law. I’m sure nobody meant for that to happen,” he continued.

Talk surrounding the law “is creating a message that is against the Torah world, against the yeshivas. That disrespects them,” he lamented.

“I felt deep inside that I must listen to my conscience, and that I cannot vote for this law,” he explained.

He added, “My decision to oppose the law is not due to its details, but due to the message it sends to Israeli society. The Yesh Atid party has led a wave of anti-religious legislation, and they are using this law, too, as a tool to beat the hareidi community. I decided today in Knesset that I am not going to play that game.”

Sources within the Jewish Home party warned Tuesday evening that Chetboun could face “serious consequences” for his decision. He said he was aware of that. “I understand the significance, I understand the consequences…. I have to vote my conscience, that’s what I’ve always done… I have stayed faithful to my path, even if I have to pay the price,” he declared.