Netanyahu: 'Time is Short and the Task is Great'

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu urged the committee tasked with replacing the Tal Law to work quickly; asked Hareidi parties to join

Gabe Kahn ,

Netanyahu and Mofaz
Netanyahu and Mofaz
Flash 90

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday told the Knesset committee tasked with replacing the Tal Law "Time is short and the task is great."

Attending the committee's first meeting, Netanyahu said, "Two weeks ago we were in this room, Shaul Mofaz and myself, in order to announce the formation of broad national unity government. The first order of business stipulated in that unity agreement is drafting an alternative Tal Law.

"In January, before the High Court decision [that the Tal Law did not accord with Israel's Basic Law], I told the Knesset that we must find a better, more just, solution than the Tal Law provides.

"Today, I am honored to open the first meeting of the 'Committee for Equality in the Burden.' Today, we begin hearings that will result in a new law, a law that will bring equity [in military and national service]."

Netanyahu also laid out his vision for the replacement of the Tal Law, and implored the committee members to work together despite the disparity of their views.

"I believe four key principles should guide us: first, an equal distribution of the burden of service; second, a gradual implementation; third, the inclusion of Jews and Arabs alike; and fourth, do all this in accordance with the Basic Laws.

"Hear me, on the committee there are many voices and views, just as there are many voices and views among the people. This committee is composed of representatives of the coalition factions, and external consultants."

Netanyahu also called on the Hareidi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties to end their boycott of the committee and participate in the formulation of the new law.

"On this occasion, I invite the representatives of all factions of the coalition to join the discussions," Netanyahu said. "In the coming weeks, the committee will meet frequently in order to bring about a more just solution to Israeli society."

"For all of us, as citizens of Israel, I wish you and have great success," Netanyahu added. "Time is short and the task is great. You must listen, discuss, propose, decide and pass a new law within a few weeks time."