Haredi MK:
'Without the draft law - the coalition has no right to exist'

MK Uri Maklev explains that the haredi parties are united in their stance on the draft law.

Hezki Baruch ,

Uri Maklev
Uri Maklev
Flash 90

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) made clear on Wednesday that the haredi parties had no intention of compromising on the draft law.

Earlier on Wednesday, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman threatened that the haredi parties would vote against the budget if the new draft law is not approved.

"Just as the coalition knew how to promote the regulation, dismissal and recommendations laws, we expect it to advance the draft law that is very important to us," Maklev told Arutz Sheva.

He added that Litzman's threat that he will not support the budget unless the draft law is approved does not reflect a private position.

"This is the position of the entire party. You cannot demand a partnership from coalition members when there is no partnership. Partnership is not a unilateral thing, it is mutual. Therefore it is impossible to vote on the budget as long as we do not vote on this law," stressed Maklev, who added that he does not believe that the tensions over the draft law will bring about the end of the coalition.

"I know that in order to bring down a government, everyone needs to want that to happen, and I know that no one wants this. There are parties that want electoral profits at the expense of laws. The coalition must decide. If it does not want to apply this law, then it has no right to exist," he said.

The new law would declare that the study of the Torah has a supreme value. By enshrining Torah study as a "basic value" of the State of Israel, the new law would allow the government to circumvent the court's ruling and enable it to grant draft exemptions or deferments to those enrolled full-time in a yeshiva institution.

Most of the opposition to the law has come from Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party.

Liberman said on Wednesday, "The draft law is a draft-dodging law. The UTJ's decision is no less than extortion. Yisrael Beytenu will not give in, and will not allow this to happen."

On Wednesday evening, following a discussion involving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the heads of the haredi parties and Likud ministers Ze’ev Elkin and Yariv Levin, it was agreed that a team headed by Levin will be set up to try to reach an agreed-upon version of the draft law.

The team will be composed of representatives of the coalition factions and a representative of the Attorney General.