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Bibi Wants Duelling Draft-Law Committees

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Friday that he has ordered the formulation of two teams to examine universal draft alternatives.

One team will be headed by Prime Minister’s Office representatives and the other by ones from Kadima, Ynet reported.

Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz, however, has rejected Netanyahu’s plan to form two new committees.

Netanyahu had said Mofaz had agreed to the move, but the Kadima chairman stressed that any advancement on the issue must be based on recommendations of the Plesner Committee, which was charged with formulating a new law on haredi Orthodox military service.

The Plesner committee released its preliminary findings on Wednesday, despite being dissolved two days earlier by Netanyahu.

The committee’s report calls for universal service for all Israeli citizens, including mandating the draft of haredi Orthodox men and upgrading the National Service program for the Arab sector. It also calls for formulating an effective enforcement system and incentives for serving.

The report calls for individual financial sanctions against draft evaders, as well as sanctions against yeshivas that prevent their students from entering the draft.

In February, the Israeli Supreme Court declared that the Tal Law, which allowed haredi Orthodox men to defer service indefinitely, to be unconstitutional, and set Aug. 1 as the deadline for a new law to be passed.

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