Bibi Sticks to Ultra-Orthodox on Draft

Facing Split, He Backs Away From Idea of Service for All

By Haaretz

Published July 03, 2012.
  • Print
  • Share Share

The political upheaval that has erupted over the committee tasked with rewriting military draft guidelines brings to mind a cliched image from old Westerns: A group of gunslingers stand around in a circle and threaten one another. Yisrael Beiteinu, the Orthodox parties, Kadima and, finally, Likud - all have in recent days issued threats relating to the dissolution of the committee, or of the governing coalition.

What remained to be clarified last night was whether this is a passing bluff or a genuine coalition crisis. Do any of the gunslingers really have ammunition? Is Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz, for instance, really yearning to quit a government he joined just two months ago?

The moment it became clear which way the Plesner committee was leaning, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu started to try to figure out how he could disband it. Faced with a choice between paying lip service to the need for egalitarian conscription and maintaining the old alliance with the ultra-Orthodox, Netanyahu blatantly chose the latter, as seen in his announcement yesterday afternoon that the committee was being disbanded.

His maneuvering actually started last week, when Yisrael Beiteinu delegates noisily quit the Plesner committee, on the pretext that the chairman of the committee, MK Yohanan Plesner of Kadima, had no intention of dealing with guidelines on drafting Arab citizens. Netanyahu rushed to announce that national service undertaken by Arabs is important to him “in principle.” When this initial crisis did not suffice to break up the committee, the resignation of the Orthodox delegate, attorney Yaakov Weinroth, provided Netanyahu with another excuse.

For more, go to Haaretz.com


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • British Jews are having their 'Open Hillel' moment. Do you think Israel advocacy on campus runs the risk of excluding some Jewish students?
  • "What I didn’t realize before my trip was that I would leave Uganda with a powerful mandate on my shoulders — almost as if I had personally left Egypt."
  • Is it better to have a young, fresh rabbi, or a rabbi who stays with the same congregation for a long time? What do you think?
  • Why does the leader of Israel's social protest movement now work in a beauty parlor instead of the Knesset?
  • What's it like to be Chagall's granddaughter?
  • Is pot kosher for Passover. The rabbis say no, especially for Ashkenazi Jews. And it doesn't matter if its the unofficial Pot Day of April 20.
  • A Ukrainian rabbi says he thinks the leaflets ordering Jews in restive Donetsk to 'register' were a hoax. But the disturbing story still won't die.
  • Some snacks to help you get through the second half of Passover.
  • You wouldn't think that a Soviet-Jewish immigrant would find much in common with Gabriel Garcia Marquez. But the famed novelist once helped one man find his first love. http://jd.fo/f3JiS
  • Can you relate?
  • The Forverts' "Bintel Brief" advice column ran for more than 65 years. Now it's getting a second life — as a cartoon.
  • Half of this Hillel's members believe Jesus was the Messiah.
  • Vinyl isn't just for hipsters and hippies. Israeli photographer Eilan Paz documents the most astonishing record collections from around the world:http://jd.fo/g3IyM
  • Could Spider-Man be Jewish? Andrew Garfield thinks so.
  • Most tasteless video ever? A new video shows Jesus Christ dying at Auschwitz.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.