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Jerusalem - Liberman: Haredi Demands ‘Theater of the Absurd’, Will Quit if Bill Passes

Published on: March 12, 2018 06:32 PM
By: Tazpit News Agency
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Israeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dance during a protest against the detention of a member of their community who refuses to serve in the Israeli army, in Bnei Brak, Israel, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar AwadIsraeli ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dance during a protest against the detention of a member of their community who refuses to serve in the Israeli army, in Bnei Brak, Israel, March 12, 2018. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem - Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman hinted Monday that he would resign if a controversial measure further ensconcing ultra-Orthodox draft exemptions wins Knesset approval, and pledged that all members of his Yisrael Beteinu faction would vote against the measure on the Knesset floor.

Speaking at the party’s weekly faction meeting, Liberman appeared to reject Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call on coalition members to remain in the government in order to address the “big challenges” facing the country. He said he hopes he will not have to resign and that the defense portfolio is “obviously the best, most interesting” government role.

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But he added that the party would remain faithful to its principles, even at the cost of leaving the coalition.

Reacting to ongoing attempts by haredi members of the governing coalition to push through the unpopular measure, Liberman said party memebers would be betraying their constituents were they to remain in the government should be bill become law and blasted ultra-Orthodox politicians for clearing potential legislation with their rabbinic oversight committees before presenting it to Knesset and government colleagues.

“It is a ‘theater of the absurd,’ Liberman said, adding that Yisrael Beteinu faction would vote against all religion and state bills tabled by the haredi parties.”For years, we have spoken about the obligation to serve – whether in the IDF or in civilian national service. For the record, that applies to both haredim and Arabs. There is no reason they shouldn’t volunteer in old age homes or hospitals.”

Liberman said he visited the IDF Induction Center yesterday, where he met with new recruits who are slated to serve with the Givati and Golani infantry units. The Minister called the new soldiers ‘salt of the earth’ and said that voting for the current proposal would be an act of betrayal against them and their families.

“It is unconscionable (that some people have to) spend three years running, sweating and serving the country, while others are simply exempt. The whole thing is crazy and is against our ethos. I will work to defeat the measure, and hope it fails,” he said.



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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Mar 12, 2018 at 07:14 PM dullradiance Says:

Did MK Liberman really use the phrase "salt of the earth" (meaning decent)? I wonder because I always knew it as a term from the X-tian holy book.
Just saying.

2

 Mar 12, 2018 at 07:24 PM scy4851 Says:

ah mamzer bleibt ah mamzer...

3

 Mar 12, 2018 at 07:25 PM Anonymous Says:

He is right. And we can preserve the yeshiva system too. In the USA ,BMG thrives despite the fact that many go to work often in treifna secular offices. Do the same in EY.

4

 Mar 12, 2018 at 07:44 PM judith Says:

You can't force them to serve, but they shouldn't get same tax funded benefits, especially since they pay the least taxes.

5

 Mar 12, 2018 at 09:18 PM Sam Says:

No reason that they can’t volunteer. He’s right.

6

 Mar 13, 2018 at 07:00 AM HeshyEmes Says:

Lieberman is unfortunately right. Regardless of the great “reasons” that the Haredim should be exempt, there is one overriding reason that they should serve which outweighs everything. That is the “machloikes” and the “sineh” that it creates amongst our brethren who rightly see the Haredi exemption as being unfair.

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 Mar 13, 2018 at 09:17 AM The Professor Says:

Reply to #4  
judith Says:

You can't force them to serve, but they shouldn't get same tax funded benefits, especially since they pay the least taxes.

Yes, Judith - you can force to serve - as Lieberman stated. It doesn't have to be in the army where their Roshei Yeshivah are afraid for their neshomos. They can do public service in hospitals, assisted living facilities, or prisons. If all those clowns who are demonstrating were really serious about their learning, they wouldn't have time to engage in the blatant Chillul Hashem that they do. It really has to do with a sense of entitlement - that they are entitled to SAY that they learn - even if they are not the core of masmidim that Ben Gurion had in mind to exempt from army service, and even if other young men do not get the same entitlements. Lieberman should stick to his guns, bring down the government if necessary, and give these young men a choice - an agreed amount of army or public service - or relinquishing their Israeli citizenship and benefits and leaving the country.

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