MK Uri Maklev
MK Uri Maklev Flash 90

MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism) said that the haredi political parties have been subject to 'incitement' over the proposed Draft Law.

"Everyone is aware of the timetables and we have to stick with them," he said in an interview with Reshet Bet. He referred to the agreement to pass the Draft Law through its three readings during the Knesset's summer session, which began today (Thursday).

Maklev accused those who call haredi MKs 'extortionists' or 'blackmailers' over the push to pass the draft law of incitement.

"To present us as extortionists is incitement. One law ... that goes through the coalition and suddenly 'we are all blackmailers,'" he said.

He added that "anyone who knows the contribution of MKs Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni to Israeli society does not speak like that."

MK Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), who responded to the comments, said that the draft law would be submitted by the Defense Ministry and not by the Council of Torah Sages.

The Draft Law was submitted by Shas MK Yoav Ben Tzur in response to a 2017 ruling by the Supreme Court, which struck down open-ended draft deferments for full-time yeshiva students.

Haredi lawmakers had demanded the government pass the bill and threatened to block passage of the 2019 budget until their demands were met.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman's Yisrael Beiteinu party had opposed the new Draft Law and vowed to leave the coalition if the law passed.

In March, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu negotiated a compromise agreement with Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), under which the draft bill would be adopted by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation this and passed in its first reading in the Knesset, followed by the passage of the 2019 state budget. The draft bill would then be brought up for its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum during the Knesset’s summer session.

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