Lapid Says 'No' to Coalition that Will Change Draft Law

Yesh Atid chairman says he will not be part of a government that will remove the criminal sanctions against haredi draft dodgers.

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Ido Ben Porat,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid said on Saturday that his party will not be part of a government that will make changes to the draft law that was passed in the last Knesset.

Lapid’s comments come amid recent reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had told haredi reporters that he would invite the haredi parties into his next coalition and work to remove the part of the draft law that imposes criminals sanctions on haredim who evade army service.

“I will not sit in a government that will make material changes to the draft law, and it’s not only the draft law, but also the core curriculum and the changes to the winter time and other things we fought for,” Lapid told Channel 10 News, adding, “The haredim know about our principle and they are fine with it.”

The controversial draft law was passed by the Knesset last year, despite warnings by pro-enlistment leaders that strong sanctions against haredi draft evaders could create a backlash that would mean fewer haredi men in the army, not more.

The draft law was passed mostly at the urging of Lapid, who won an unexpected 19 seats in the last elections and conditioned his entering a coalition on changes to the draft law. He even threatened to bolt the coalition unless the law passes.

In Saturday’s interview, Lapid also said that his party will recommend for Prime Minister any candidate who will accept the party's plans to lower the cost of housing and fight corruption.

"I'll do what I can so that Netanyahu is not Prime Minister, because he is not worthy and is leading a process of political corruption,” Lapid charged, though he also said Yesh Atid would not support the Labor party and Yitzhak Herzog because it is a leftist party.

Lapid also addressed the new State Comptroller’s report on the housing crisis, which is to be released soon and which is expected to point an accusing finger at Lapid’s conduct during his time as Finance Minister.

“It’s hard to solve a housing crisis when the Prime Minister torpedoes your initiatives,” he said.