76% of Israeli Jews oppose the new conscription law
Zionist parties kowtow to Haredi Coalition partners
Israel’s politicians have deliberately chosen to pursue legislation which is not only immoral but also unconstitutional, having been struck out twice already by the Supreme Court. The question, though, is how long it will take the Supreme Court to rule that this most recent amendment is illegal as well. Our politicians may be counting on this very fact: the wheels of justice grind slowly…
Uri Regev 26/11/2015 11:34
IDF soldiers of the religious 97th ''Netzah Yehuda'' Infantry Battalion, courtesy: Wikipedia
One of many demands made by the ultra-Orthodox parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism) in exchange for propping up PM Netanyahu’s fragile government coalition was the indefinite deferral of military service for yeshiva students.
Hiddush has been at the forefront of public advocacy for equality in shouldering the civic and security burden. We participated in the last eight Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee hearings as the law evolved, and were invited to present our position at the hearing just before the new amendment was voted into law on Nov. 23rd.
In reality, the hearing was merely a 'fig leaf!' None of the Zionist coalition MKs were willing to stand up against their ultra-Orthodox coalition partners. The responsibility for this betrayal of Israel’s voters lies clearly with the Likud, Kulanu and Jewish Home parties, for whom no price is too high for maintaining their hold on power, not even the lives of Israeli soldiers and their families – not even the lives of the voters who supported them. It should be noted, though, in all honesty, that we doubt that Labor would have refused a similar dictate by the ultra-Orthodox parties if they were offered their political support in return.
Hiddush's poll of Israeli Jews conducted by the Rafi Smith Polling Institute showed 76% of the Israeli Jewish public oppose the Knesset’s recent amendment to the draft law, which effectively castrates the previous law mandating ultra-Orthodox conscription into the IDF (which was far from perfect, as our readers know). Fully 82% of non-ultra-Orthodox respondents expressed opposition to it.
It’s not easy to understand how the MKs of Likud, Kulanu and the Jewish Home can sleep at night and what stories they tell themselves in order to justify their severe betrayal...
The poll also demonstrates the strong opposition to the amendment among those who voted for the Government Coalition parties, with 68% of Likud voters, 87% of Kulanu voters, and 71% of Jewish Home party voters opposing the law. It’s hard to think of a broader consensus among the nation than the opposition to this new law.
While the ultra-Orthodox parties (Shas and United Torah Judaism) threatened to leave the coalition if their amendment did not pass, Hiddush maintains that this was very doubtful. Hiddush’s analysis of the Government Coalition agreements showed quite clearly that the ultra-Orthodox parties stand to receive huge sums of money for yeshiva students, ultra-Orthodox schools that refuse to implement core curricular studies, and missionary organizations that promote ultra-Orthodox Judaism. They are unlikely to exit the coalition, for the previous budget was much less favorable to them.
The Zionist parties of the coalition trampled not only equality of civic burden among Israel’s citizens, but also their own voters. It’s not easy to understand how the MKs of Likud, Kulanu and the Jewish Home can sleep at night and what stories they tell themselves in order to justify their severe betrayal of Israel’s soldiers and their families. Unsurprisingly, according to Hiddush’s polling, 58% of Jewish Israelis state that their confidence in the Israeli political system was further eroded due to the Government’s ugly betrayal. As always, stay tuned for more Hiddush updates on this and other stories, for voter disgust might lead Israel into new, premature elections once again.