Lapid Won't Join Gov't that Repealed Haredi Draft

Yesh Atid head comes out swinging against PM Netanyahu and Labor head Herzog, accusing them of trying to win favor with haredi parties.

Hezki Baruch, Cynthia Blank,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Ben Kelmer/Flash90

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid was up in arms Sunday over Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's recent promise to repeal the criminal sanctions of the haredi draft law. 

Netanyahu made the comments during several interviews with haredi media this weekend, in a bid to sway haredi parties to recommend him after elections on March 17. 

Lapid also preemptively attacked Labor leader Yitzhak "Buji" Herzog in case he makes similar moves to pull the haredim his way. 

In an interview with Kalman Liebskind on Galey Israel, Lapid explained "Both Buji and Netanyahu know that the High Court will never allow to abolish so-called criminal sanctions, because these are not criminal sanctions, but the law."

Lapid was referring to a clause in the law, enacted last year, which stipulates that if the target number of haredi draftees is not reached by 2017, haredi draft-dodgers will be treated the same as others who refuse the draft and thus open to criminal sanctions.

According to Lapid, "they cannot cancel the Security Service Law - all of military enlistment to the IDF in Israel is based on it. So what do they care to promise something that they know can't happen."

The former finance minister added that Yesh Atid adamantly refuses to sit in the government of any party who tries to cancel the conscription law entirely. 

"We cannot cancel the equality of the burden. The state of Israel cannot afford to cancel, and I will certainly not sit in a government that will cancel," he stressed. 

"It is a holy principle that all citizens of the country have the same rights," Lapid continued. "We will not allow this equality of the burden to be overthrown or shot down. We will not sit in any government that tries to do so." 




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