Netanyahu Kills Critical Committee, Coalition Threatened
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved a committee that was asked to come up with legislation that would require all the men in Israel, whether they be non-religious Jews, ultra-Orthodox Jews, Arabs, Christians, etc., to serve in the Israeli Army. The Plesner committee was formed at the request of the Kadima Party, which had joined Netanyahu in forming Israel’s largest coalition government in its history. Kadima had acted following a February ruling by the Israeli Supreme Court, which had ruled that the Tal Law, which allowed Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men to avoid serving in the military but serve the state in other ways and eventually go into the job, was unconstitutional and therefore needed to be replaced by July 31.
“To my regret, the Plesner Committee did not succeed in reaching agreed-upon outlines due to the withdrawal of several of its members, and it cannot formulate a recommendation that would achieve a Knesset majority. For all intents and purposes, the committee has disbanded. I prefer an agreed-upon and gradual solution but if we cannot reach such a solution by August 1, the IDF will draft according to its needs, and I believe that it will do so while taking into consideration the various publics so as to prevent a rift in the nation.”
After Netanyahu dissolved the committee, because members of the committee were gradually exiting, unhappy over its recommendations, Kadima party head Shaul Mofaz threatened that Netanyahu’s coalition could fall apart: “If the prime minister does not go the way he need to, it will be the end of this national unity government.”
But onlookers doubted Mofaz would carry out his threat, because Netanyahu intimated that with or without the committee, the efforts to enlist the whole of the Israeli citizenry in supporting the army would continue, saying,
"I hope we succeed in solving this during our current efforts. But eventually it [a solution] will be achieved. One way or another this thing will be achieved, because the state of Israel needs a more egalitarian division of the burden."