Haredi conscription law about to foil Netanyahu’s attempt to build a coalition
Kehila News, Kehila News Israel Staff, May 27, 2019
With the deadline looming to form a government by tomorrow, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was preparing instead to go to new elections as he has been unable to form a coalition.
Since the April 9 elections, where Netanyahu emerged the clear winner, he appeared on target to form a right-wing coalition comprised of 65 Knesset seats including several religious parties on his side (United Torah Judaism, Shas and the Union of Right-Wing Parties) plus two secular right-wing parties (Kulanu and Yisrael Beytenu).
However, he has failed to meet the vastly divergent demands of all the smaller parties he’s pulling together. Most of this coalition is made up of ultra-Orthodox Jews [in Hebrew “Haredim”] who are opposed to mandatory military service. But Avigdor Liberman, head of Yisrael Beytenu party, has made his participation in the coalition contingent upon passing mandatory army conscription for the Haredi into law.
“After a failed attempt to form a government under the ideal conditions, we expect the prime minister to put more pressure on the haredi parties and the rabbis who stand behind them,” Yisrael Beytenu said.
Liberman’s withholding of his five mandates from the coalition could spell new elections for the country.
According to the Jerusalem Post, this issue of demanding that the ultra-Orthodox serve in the army – as the rest of israelis do – is nothing new.