Coalition to legislate new haredi draft law

Coalition heads agree Tuesday to legislate a new law regulating the haredi draft.

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Gafni and Deri
Gafni and Deri
Flash 90

Coalition party heads agreed Tuesday to pass a new law regulating the haredi draft and to set up a committee staffed by representatives from the various coalition parties in order to pass the law as quickly as possible.

The Supreme Court struck down the mandatory draft law two weeks ago, ruling that it was unconstitutional. The court announced that the law would expire within a year and asked the Knesset to pass a new law instead.

Haredi parties announced in response that they would pass a new law extending haredi draft deferments until 2023, and vowed to include a clause enabling the Knesset to bypass Supreme Court decisions that nullify Knesset laws.

However, Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) vehemently opposes the Supreme Court bypass clause and has vowed to block it. Last week, Kahlon said in an interview that any legislation to weaken the power of the Supreme Court "hurts democracy".

"I don't want to live in a country which does not allow judicial criticism, where people disappear overnight. No one wants to live in such a country. But does that mean I love the Supreme Court's recent rulings? The answer is no. If we need to, we can fix this. But we shouldn't destroy [the Supreme Court]" Kahlon said.

Kahlon's support is crucial the measure to pass, as his Kulanu faction holds a sizable bloc of ten Knesset seats, and wields veto power over all legislation that would change the Supreme Court's status

On Monday, Kan reported that haredi party heads Aryeh Deri and Yaakov Litzman conveyed to Prime Minister Netanyahu that they will not support the 'Nationality Law' unless legislation bypassing the Supreme Court is passed.