Daily Israel Report

MK Yogev 'Almost' Voted Against Enlistment Law

Jewish Home MK reports voting 'yea' only because of party discipline, warns law requires party reorganization.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 3/12/2014, 1:27 PM

MK Motti Yogev
MK Motti Yogev
Hillel Meir

MK Motti Yogev (Jewish Home) spoke about the passing of the Enlistment Law on Wednesday, admitting that he nearly opposed party discipline to vote against the law as did MK Yoni Chetboun of his party.

"I voted for the law with a finger of my left hand and with great pain," reported Yogev.

The Jewish Home MK argued the law did not achieve an "equal burden," and remarked in passing that most of the Yesh Atid party MKs served in non-combat roles, in IDF units that involve music, sport and communications. "There's no burden here, and equality is fiction," he said.

"Despite the efforts of my friend (MK) Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), to pass the law in an agreed way, the bottom line is that it was passed in strong-armed legislation by 'Ein Atid (No Future),'" remarked the MK, making a play on Yair Lapid's party's name. Yogev was commander of an elite infantry reconnaissance unit.

Yogev also blamed his own party, saying the law was forced through "with the cooperation of those who as it were represent the Jewish Home."

"I voted 'yea' because it was a party vote that forced discipline, and out of a sense of responsibility I respect my party members and the desire to keep unity in the religious Zionist public," admitted Yogev.

Signs of disunity in Jewish Home

That "unity" was upset by MK Yoni Chetboun, who was the only one to vote against the law that he argued "split apart Israeli society." The move was punished by Jewish Home with "serious consequences," removing him from the Committee for Foreign Affairs and Security for the entire summer session, in addition to barring him from submitting laws during the first six weeks of the coming session.

Just before the vote on Wednesday, Chief Rabbi of Tzfat Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu wrote to Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, asking him to "show leadership and allow various members the freedom to vote as they choose."

MK Yogev noted he intends to petition against the Jewish Home decision to sanction Chetboun for his vote.

Yogev warned that the new law harms "the enlistment of hareidim to the IDF, harms other values dear to us in the Jewish Home, and will demand of us an internal and external systemic reorganization, to appeal against the cooperation with the Yesh Atid party, for the sake of the people of Israel, the Torah of Israel, the land of Israel and the security of the state of Israel."