Minister Nir Barkat
Minister Nir BarkatYonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Economy Minister Nir Barkat wrote a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he made it clear that he would not vote for the Haredi Draft Law in its current form and would even convince Likud members to do the same.

"I informed the Prime Minister after the technical vote on continuity that I will oppose the Draft Law in its current form in the following votes, along with other MKs from the Likud," said Barkat.

He added that "in order to win the war, the IDF needs more soldiers. Without victory in battle there is no country and no Torah. As a paratrooper who led soldiers into battle risking their lives, I salute the IDF soldiers and pledge to be worthy of their sacrifice and devotion."

In his letter, Barkat details the principles required to implement a proper Draft Law that will receive the support of the majority of the people in Israel. He states that, in his opinion, the law must encompass all citizens of the country - including haredim and Arabs - as well as respond to all the needs of the defense establishment and the national service. Barkat says that at the same time, the law must also recognize the importance and value of Torah study and Torah learners.

He adds that it is necessary to adjust the service routes to the lifestyle of the haredi sector and other sectors, as well as to incentivize those who enlist according to a graded scale and to take personal sanctions against those who do not enlist in the army or national service.

Likud attacked Barkat following the letter and said, "Nir Barkat is expected to take care of the cost of living and not look for excuses to topple a right-wing government during a war."

To this, the minister replied, "The State of Israel is at one of the most difficult times in its history and it is my duty to express my position, which reflects the position of the majority in the Likud. If someone wishes to attack a minister in the Likud because of a position on the importance of recruiting for the IDF in times of war - it is better that he use his name and not the name of the Likud. Israel needs more soldiers to win the war. Without victory, there is no country and no Torah."