Knesset to ratify enlistment law today

MK Kisch, who opposes the bill, will abstain, but so will Arab MKs, and the law is expected to pass.

Haim Lev,

Haredi men (illustration)
Haredi men (illustration)
Flash 90

The Knesset is expected to ratify the amended Enlistment Law in the final readings Monday, thus undoing the changes made by the previous government, which would have slapped criminal sanctions on haredi men who refuse to enlist to the IDF.

The bill was originally scheduled to come up for a vote on Wednesday, but at the request of MK Moshe Gafni of the haredi UTJ party, the vote was moved up to Monday – "in order to prevent two more days of incitement," in his words.

Gafni recently emotionally attacked MK Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party was among those initiating the Enlistment Law in the first place when it was a part of the previous government. He claims that Lapid is now inciting against the haredim because of their insistence on revoking the sanctions against draft evaders.

MK Yoav Kisch (Likud) said at the week's end that he will abstain in the vote. Kisch was a leader of the grassroots reservists' movement that demanded that haredim bear a proportionate share of the burden of maintaining Israel's security by enlisting.

He refused to vote when the Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee voted on the bill last week, thus breaking ranks with the Coalition.

However, even with his abstention, the bill is still expected to garner a majority. Assisting in this is the agreement of Arab MKs from the Joint List to abstain in the vote, after Gafni asked them to.

Protests were held Sunday outside the homes of Health Minister Yaakov Litzman, and Deputy Education Minister MK Meir Porush, both of whom are from the UTJ party. The protesters oppose the new version of the law. A similar protest was held outside Kisch's home.




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