Mofaz: Tal Law a 'Moral Stain on Israeli Society'

Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz told Israelis he joined the Netanyahu government 'for the welfare and future of the State of Israel.'

Gabe Kahn ,

Shaul Mofaz
Shaul Mofaz
Israel news photo: Flash90

Kadima chairman and soon-to-be Deputy Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz on Tuesday said he decided to reverse course and join the Netanyahu government  "for the welfare and future of the state of Israel."

"This is the biggest coalition, 95 Knesset Members, the biggest we have ever had in the history of the State of Israel," Mofaz explained.

He said, "I say this as there are decisions that concern you, and I decided to join this coalition not for portfolios but rather for a number of goals that are very important to the State of Israel: Changing the government system and changing the Tal Law."

Mofaz added, "We decided in the early hours of the morning that by July 31 a team from Kadima would lead new legislation where the message is one law for everyone with regards to military service in the IDF.

"We can no longer separate blood from blood in the State of Israel. This issue where some serve and others do not is a moral stain on Israeli society.

"There is no reason why the son of the IDF chief of staff should serve in an elite unit…while others don't even serve one day.

"Those who cannot serve in the military should volunteer for national service. You the young (generation) who carry the burden, must insist upon having one rule for all in the State of Israel," he said.

Prior to averting elections with the suprise unity deal, Mofaz had inherited a 28-seat party - Israel's largest - which had imploded in the polls under his predecessor Tzipi Livni. Kadima was polling at 13 seats.

While Mofaz did not insist on portfolios in exchange for his party's entry in the Netanyahu government, it has been reported Kadima will ultimately recieve some ministries over time.

"There are portfolios that will soon be free and they will be transferred to Kadima in due course, “sources close to the Prime Minister said. However, they stressed that Netanyahu has no intention of expanding the cabinet.

Some political observers believe Natanyahu will wait to offer Kadima cabinet seats - possibly at the expense of Ehud Barak's Independence Party - after an alternative to the Tal Law is drafted.

It has also been suggested, should the unity government be successful in its agenda, that Netanyahu might offer an amnesty to Kadima lawmakers and invite them back into the Likud fold.

Prime Minister Ariel Sharon broke away from the Likud in the face of intense internal opposition and formed Kadima in order to push through the unilateral disengagement from Gaza in 2005.