Haredi MKs
Haredi MKsHezki Ezra

The Knesset plenum ratified the amended Enlistment Law in the second and third readings at night, turning it into the law of the land. The law passed by a majority of 49 to 36, with members of the Arab Joint List absenting themselves at the request of haredi MKs.

None of the proposed reservations to the bill were accepted.

The bill greatly postpones the implementation of the measures that would place pressure on haredi men to enlist to the IDF. It lengthens the "period of acclimatization" set in the law from three to six years, and defines this as the "first period of acclimatization." A "second period of acclimatization" is recommended as well, which would postpone the implementation of sanctions against non-enlisters by three more years.

During this time, as long as the haredi population is able to fill the enlistment quota required of it, postponement of enlistment will be allowed for men aged over 21.

Opposition MKs attacked the bill in a long debate that lasted into the night. MK Yaakov Perry of Yesh Atid asked rhetorically: "What comes first? Politics or justice? Politics or equality? Politics or the values we all grew up on? It looks as if narrow politics, motivated by interests, is victorious, and guides this government's decisions."

MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said that the law is un-egalitarian. "If the son of the Defense Minister evades the draft, the Military Police will come and put him in jail. If the son of a haredi MK evades the draft, he will get to study and receive a scholarship."

Yesh Atid announced that it will file a High Court motion against the law, along with the Students' Union.