The Bibi Proposal That Led to Kadima’s Departure from Coalition

Haaretz explains why Mofez decided to remove his Kadiam party from the Bibi coalition: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu submitted early Tuesday afternoon what he termed a new and far-reaching legislative proposal intended to resolve the quarrel between Likud and Kadima regarding the wording of a new law which would equalize the burden of army service. The document was forwarded by Netanyahu confidant attorney David Shimron to attorney Alon Gellert, who has represented Kadima in talks between the parties. Sources close to the negotiations claimed that the proposal is intended to partly accept Kadima’s demand that Haredim up to age 23 be drafted.

According to the Netanyahu proposal, the oldest age at which ultra-Orthodox would be drafted into the army will be 23. At the same time, incentives will be granted to Haredim who enlist at age 18. However, based on the Netanyahu proposal, young Haredim would be able to continue to push off their draft: Anyone who does not enlist until age 23 will not be able to enlist into the army, but only into an operational civil service that would include firefighting units, Magen David Adom, the Israel Police and the Prisons Service.

Mofaz rejected the prime minister’s proposal, which was submitted this morning. “Based on the proposal that was rejected, between the ages 18-23, for a lengthy period of time, only 50 percent of target subjects for the military draft would be drafted. Whereas 50 percent of those subject to the draft at ages 23-26 would be directed toward civil service,” Mofaz explained. “Netanyahu’s proposal contradicts the ruling of the High Court of Justice, does not conform to the principle of equality, is disproportionate and does not meet the tests of effectiveness that are set down in the High Court’s ruling, or the principles of the committee on equalizing the burden of IDF service. Let’s make this clear: We are referring to enlistment targets that do not include all of those eligible for the draft, and we are therefore countenancing a ‘word- laundering’ that in effect leaves the situation as it was.”

A senior Kadima official stated in response that the proposal is complete rubbish. “This is the same proposal that has been sent to us before, one time through (Ya’alon) and another time through (Ze’ev) Elkin. There is no compulsory draft here up to age 23.”

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