Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

24 Cheshvan 5761 - November 22, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Current Draft Situation Extended for a Year
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Following stormy deliberations, the Knesset House Committee voted Monday by 12-5 to approve splitting the Tal bill into two parts. The Knesset will now only pass the first reading of the section of the bill granting the defense minister the authority to defer the army service of yeshiva students. However it will pass the second and third readings of a bill that will extend the current arrangements for a year, giving a legal basis to the deferral of service for those who are studying in yeshiva and avreichim whose sole occupation is Torah.

The special Knesset committee drafting the bill will continue to ready the original bill for its second and third readings.

The decision to divide the bill means that the committee no longer needs to appeal to the High Court for a further extension or declare the current draft deferral arrangement illegal.

Chairman of the Knesset Committee that is dealing with the issue, MK Saleh Tarif, said that the Knesset must not work on so important a piece of legislation under the threat of High Court action. Since it was quite clear that the Court would probably not grant a further extension from the most recent deadline of 11 Kislev (December 8), the Knesset must give itself the time to deal with the issue at its own pace. Hence the need for the legislation to give a legal basis to the current arrangement for a year.

The proposal was approved by a majority of 12, including representatives from One Israel, Shas, United Torah Judaism and the National Religious Party. The five representatives from Meretz, Yisrael B'aliyah and Shinui voted against the proposal. Likud representative Israel Katz approved the bill, unlike his fellow Likud MK Meir Sheetrit who opposed it.

MK Sheetrit said that the proposal was designed to ensure that Shas and United Torah Judaism would support the coalition, enabling Prime Minister Ehud Barak to remain in office for another year.

Despite NRP support, NRP MK Shaul Yahalom attacked the law. MK Nissim Zeev (Shas) attacked Yahalom, saying his remarks incited against yeshiva students.

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni accused those voting against the law of hypocrisy. He said that most of the members of a special committee that is dealing with the draft law approved the one-year extension, including Shinui leader Tommy Lapid. He could not understand why they now refused to vote for the law in the full Knesset committee, where there actions are a matter of public record. Presumably, they voted against the law only after being sure that it would nonetheless pass.

Two years ago, the High Court decided that the current draft of the deferral arrangement was illegal and that the matter had to be decided by a Knesset law. The court gave the Knesset four extensions to redraft the deferral arrangement.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.