Discussion on the Draft Law
Discussion on the Draft LawNoam Moskowitz, Knesset Spokesperson

The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee met on Tuesday to discuss the Draft Law.

Committee chairman, MK Yuli Edelstein, clarified at the beginning of the discussion that the law is subject to changes, to meet the needs of the army. "We have the possibility, based on the platform before us, to enact a law that in my view should be a new page and provide a real answer to military and security needs in the new reality."

"I would also like to hear from the IDF about the real needs regarding preparations for the security reality that we know too well, but I would also like to hear about the proper preparations behind every number." For me, proper preparation boils down to something simple. We need to provide a short-term solution to the needs, but one that will work in the long-term as well," he added.

He noted that "proper preparation would allow a haredi youngster who drafts to maintain his lifestyle and prevent him from becoming an outcast or a second-class citizen in the haredi community. It's not always easy. There will also be conflicting values, but the IDF, as far as I'm concerned, must be prepared, if it intends to stand behind the numbers he really needs, after what we've been through in the last eight months."

Opposition head, Yair Lapid, said: "The important thing to remember is that we are currently in a state of emergency. Only a week has passed since this law was passed in the Knesset plenary on the Law of Continuity. We have already held 16 funerals of IDF soldiers. I spoke this week with a friend who lives in a small community where one of the fallen soldiers is from. During the night the whole community was completely quiet and the only thing they heard was his mother shouting and crying. This boy did not say, 'I will die, and I will not draft. He said, 'I will draft – and he died."

"This committee cannot enact any law that discriminates between blood and blood. The eyes of the combat soldiers and families are in this room. If they make wrong decisions – people will die. If they don't give the army the tools it needs – people will die. If there are political considerations here instead of security ones – people will die ", he claimed.

The chairman of the New Hope party, MK Gideon Sa'ar, stated that he believes that, "This law is inappropriate and in the absence of a law – there is a general draft obligation, and it has consequences. If it is not possible to enact a proper law – no law should be enacted at all.

"Today we are standing at a historical point, where we need to try and change reality because we cannot go on like this. The Israeli society has no choice. The public that serves today cannot tolerate this injustice for two reasons. First of all, it is unfair. Second, it is a burden. And we all know "Dozens of personal stories of reservists who were called up a second time, maybe a third time, for many months," emphasized Sa'ar.

Minister of Aliyah and Integration, Ofir Sofer, stated that he would only vote in favor of a draft law that would be appropriate from his point of view. "It has to be worthy in the eyes of God and man. That is, it has to be correct from a true point of view. nothing else. You have to see significant steps in reality, and it has to be right from a public point of view."