Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz (Likud) said on Thursday he believes that the Draft Law will be brought to a final vote in the Knesset only after a very broad agreement that will take time to achieve.
"I saw the bill, the approach of criminal and economic sanctions is out of proportion. The Draft Law should only be brought for its second and third readings after there is broad agreement,” said Minister Katz in an interview on Kol Barama radio.
"The integration of the haredi community is important to us as a society, and therefore the enlistment issue must be only by agreement. Lapid's approach to go with the haredim by using force has proven to be a failure," he continued.
Minister Katz also stated that the intervention of the judicial system in the law was unnecessary. "The Supreme Court erred when it intervened on this issue of enlistment," he said.
Katz also added an unusual figure that has received no media attention. "According to data presented by a committee in the Defense Ministry, the number of haredim who serve in the army is not far from the percentage of the general public who serve."
The Knesset approved the Draft Law in its first reading Monday night. 63 MKs voted in favor of the legislation and 39 MKs voted against it.
The bill was approved despite the haredi parties voting against it, due to the fact that Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party supported it from the opposition.
The law determines recruitment targets for haredim, which grow in number every year, and imposes economic sanctions on yeshivas that do not meet these recruitment targets. Another clause states that the law will be repealed if the haredim fail to meet the recruitment targets for three consecutive years.
The haredim allowed the bill to pass its first reading, but have threatened to leave the coalition if it does not undergo significant changes before it is brought to a vote in its second and third readings.