Meir Porush
Meir PorushYonatan Sindel/Flash90

The Israeli government on Monday approved a decision by the Defense Ministry to instruct the IDF not to take steps to enlist yeshiva students until the Draft Law is passed during the upcoming winter session of the Knesset.

Construction and Housing Minister Yitzhak Goldknopf and Jerusalem Minister Meir Porush, who are the Agudat Yisrael faction's representatives in the government, expressed their opposition to the discussion on the decision-makers' proposal submitted to the ministers, and voted in opposition.

Porush explained to the ministers why he opposed the decision: According to him, the Draft Law expires in approximately two weeks, and there is no alternative law which will protect yeshiva students from being drafted by force, other than the government's decision, which serves as a temporary "band-aid" and can be canceled with an alternative decision.

"There is no written instruction in the decision-makers' proposal which requires the Defense Minister to submit a memorandum to regulate the yeshiva students' status," Porush explained to the ministers. "These words are not writteni n the proposal, despite the fact that they have told us again and again orally. Exactly like it says that a law must be prepared to recognize service, we ask that it be written that there needs to be a law prepared that those who learn Torah are not drafted."

Porush also protested to the other members of the government the fact that the commitments given to the haredi public's representatives are once again being broken: "The proposal also says that the law will be approved by the end of the winter, despite the fact that it was agreed in a meeting with the Prime Minister that it will not be dragged out, and that the legislation will be completed by the middle of the winter session."

The haredi parties also noted that in a meeting held in the Prime Minister's Office two weeks ago, representatives of Shas and the United Torah Judaism party, of which Agudat Yisrael is a faction, alongside the Defense Minister and others, agreed that within two weeks the Defense Ministry would submit a memorandum for examination by ministers and MKs. However, instead, it was decided to once again push the issue off.