Yisrael Beytenu MK: We're not willing to compromise on security

MK Oded Forer slams haredi parties for coalition crisis, says they're using MK fear of elections as an excuse for 'extortion.'

Arutz Sheva Staff , | updated: 10:53 AM

MK Oded Forer
MK Oded Forer
Flash 90

MK Oded Forer(Yisrael Beytenu) on Friday morning slammed the haredi parties for the coalition crisis and said they are "extorting" the coalition.

In an interview with Reshet Bet, Forer said that "pushing this law and saying 'either vote for it or we quit the coalition' can't be defined any other way. It's forcing a law which is not agreed upon by all party heads and which does not comply with the coalition agreements which were signed. There's an expectation that everyone will remain silent, just because no one wants elections."

"The haredim feel they can extort us because everyone thinks this is a good government, and no one wants elections," he added.

Forer noted that the haredim are acting as if they're sick of the government. But, he added, "This is a good government, it's a nationalist government, it's a right-wing government, and for the haredim as well, it's a good government."

"This law should be written by a senior Defense Ministry official. We are willing to compromise on a lot of subjects. We are not willing to compromise on security issues, and we are not willing to compromise on ethical issues."

Emphasizing that his party would vote against the law, Forer said, "You don't pass this kind of law by force."

On Wednesday, Defense Minister Yisrael Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said, "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."

Currently, the haredim are trying to pass a "Basic Law" which would enshrine Torah study as a basic value of the State of Israel, circumventing the Supreme Court's decision - made in response to a suit filed by secular Israelis - that allowing haredi yeshiva students to obtain deferments is discriminatory.

However, the proposed "draft law" has not gone through the normal lawmaking process, and has not even been examined by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. For this reason, although religious and traditional Israelis identify with the idea of Torah study as a basic law, some coalition members, including the Yisrael Beytenu party and several Likud MKs, feel the haredi parties' attempt to railroad the "draft law" into existence, their threat not to vote for the 2019 budget until the "draft law" is passed, and their threat to quit the coalition if not every coalition member votes in favor of the law, are unethical and unjust, and a form of extortion.

The haredi parties - UTJ and Shas - are currently discussing various compromises with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.