Draft Law granted its tenth extension

Government had vowed to bring Draft Law to very first cabinet meeting, but instead applied to Supreme Court for a six-month reprieve.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Haredi army recruits
Haredi army recruits
IDF spokesperson

The ongoing Draft Law saga – which played a pivotal role in bringing down successive governments – has just been given a new lease on life. The Supreme Court has granted the government a six-month extension to passing a revised law that meets with its approval. This is the tenth such extension it has granted in recent years, Behadrey Haredim reports, and gives the government until January 6 to find a solution that a majority of the Knesset approves.

Although the government had promised to pass a Draft Law within 90 days of taking power, without altering the wording as drafted by the committee established by Avigdor Liberman when he was Defense Minister during the 20th Knesset, various government officials have now tacitly admitted that the text of the law will likely need to be changed. The Draft Law promoted by Liberman only passed its first reading in the Knesset, with several political parties committing to see that its wording was changed as it passed through the committee stage – as is customary for legislation on any topic.

A month ago, Liberman announced that the Draft Law would be presented before the government in its very first cabinet meeting. However, for reasons that are not clear, the Law has not yet been submitted for approval, with the government focusing on other issues in the meantime.

On Tuesday, Defense Minister Benny Gantz touched on the subject of the Draft Law during a speech made marking the conclusion of Reuven Rivlin’s term as President.

“This ‘burden’ of state security and the correct way in which people should contribute to society should be addressed anew, in order to bring all sectors into partnership with one another,” Gantz said. “Yesterday, I submitted a request in the name of the State to the Supreme Court, asking it to grant the government an additional period of time during which we will draft a new recruitment law. In the first stage, we will need to alter the [previous] law that was struck down by the Court and draft a new law that enhances equality.”

Gantz stressed that, “Our main challenge now is to develop a new outline for army service that meets the needs of Israeli society and the state for the coming decades. This must be done together with the involvement of the Prime Minister and with the cooperation of all the relevant government ministers, and must also be fully coordinated with the IDF.”

The Defense Minister added that, “A new outline in the same spirit as the one I presented to the previous government will save the army of the people and increase solidarity among us all. At the end of the day, despite the challenges we will face along the way, a new law will create a situation in which a majority of Israeli citizens – Jews, Muslims, Circassians, Druze, and Christians – will serve the state. It will also bring about an increase in equality in the workforce and increased opportunities for all. This is an urgent national need and the only solution that is good for the IDF, for security, and for Israeli society. If we do not act now, Israel’s security will suffer.”