Report on Haredi Army Service to Be Released, Despite Netanyahu Move to Disband Panel

Amid cabinet tensions over dissolution of committee to replace Tal Law, panel's head Yohanan Plesner says Israeli public will see for itself when recommendations are published.

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

A state-sanctioned panel formed to find an alternative to the existing law regulating the enlistment of Haredi men to the Israel Defense Forces will present its conclusions later this week, despite the fact that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ordered the committee dissolved, the panel's chairman said Monday afternoon.

Earlier Monday, Netanyahu disbanded the panel, headed by Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner, saying: "If we can't reach such a solution by August 1, the IDF will have to enlist according to its needs, while taking the various publics into considerations, in order to prevent a split in the country."

The announcement, however, apparently sparked a crisis within Netanyahu's sizable coalition, as Kadima head and Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, who entered the cabinet in order to affect the new legislation, said his party could bolt the unity cabinet if the PM does not go back on his announcement.

Following a Kadima meeting, Mofaz criticized the premier's announcement, saying: "I reject the prime minister's announcement and give full backing to the committee headed by MK Plesner."

"If the prime minister wishes not to turn toward the required direction, the unity government will reach its end," he added.

Later Monday, however, Plesner himself said that the members of the panel would release their conclusions on Wednesday, despite Netanyahu's disbanding of the committee.

"I spoke with the committee's members and we intend, as was originally planned and as we said in a letter to the prime minister today, to present the panel's conclusions on Wednesday," Plesner said.

The Kadima MK said that the "report is written and so are the recommendations and the bill," adding: "It seems that there are those who are running away from the significance of this, or are afraid of it."

"But I think that the Israeli public is waiting this message, and we're going to pass it on, and not let anyone whose afraid from publishing these recommendations from blocking their publication," he added.

Plesner added that one of the implications of preventing the panel's work until now from coming to the attention of the public is that "60,000 Haredi students will be declared AWOL in exactly one month."

"We want to avoid this and advance the incorporation of the Haredi community, while adopting a rational solution," he added, saying that "ultimately, the public will see for itself on Wednesday, when the conclusions are published," he added.

Ultra-Orthodox soldier at IDF recruitment base.Credit: Moti Milrod



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