Centrist Party Allegedly Refuses To Join New Government If Haredi Parties Are In Governing Coalition; Haredi Pol Calls Move “Pure Hatred For Haredim”
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party is refusing to join a coalition government if haredi parties also join it, Ynet reports.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu views the haredi parties as his natural political allies, in part because they will adopt or not object to his foreign policy, his West Bank policy, and many other facets of day-to-day governing of the country in exchange for military deferments for all haredim and funding for haredi housing and yeshivas.
The overwhelming majority of Israelis are strongly opposed to those deferments, that yeshiva funding and preferential treatment of haredim in housing and welfare.
David Shomron, an attorney who is a member of Netanyahu’s Likud-Beiteinu Party’s coalition negotiation team, told Ynet tonight that Yesh Atid's condition for joining the next government is that the coalition will not include any haredi parties.
"We believe the right way to make progress and address the challenges the State of Israel is facing is to establish as broad a coalition as possible. [Yesh Atid negotiators] said that as far as their party is concerned, there is no room for including haredim in the next government,” Shomron claimed.
But before meeting with Yesh Atid negotiators, Shomron was already working to exclude Yesh Atid.
“Netanyahu does not intend to form a narrow government with [Naftali] Bennett and [Yair] Lapid .We are continuing our efforts to form a broad coalition which would include the ultra-Orthodox parties, the Jewish Home party, and we hope it would include the Yesh Atid party and Kadima as well,” he told the Times of Israel.
It is unclear whether that is actually Yesh Atid’s position. In the past, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid has focused on ending all but a small number of haredi military exemptions and in finding ways to get haredim off welfare and off full time yeshiva study that now continues well into their adulthood, and into the workforce. In theory, if a haredi political party could agree with those positions, Yesh Atid would join a coalition including that haredi party.
Yesh Atid and the right wing Zionist Orthodox Habayit Hayehudi party have already formed a coalition negotiation bloc and have agreed that no more than 1500 haredi military exemptions will be issued, and the rest of the haredi yeshiva students will have to serve in the military beginning at age 21.
Yesh Atid’s previous position was no more than 400 exemptions and military service beginning at age 18.
Haredi parties rejected the Yesh Atid-Habayit Hayehudi plan. They also rejected Likud-Beiteinu’s plan, which has haredim serving in the military beginning when they are several years older and has many more exemptions for haredim who wish to study full time in perpetuity. It also contains financial incentives for haredi yeshivas to meet yearly military draft quotas and financial penalties for those yeshivas which do not meet those quotas, and individual haredim would be penalized or rewarded financially, as well. Haredi leaders also rejected that plan, and insist that all haredi should be exempt from military service as long as they study full time in a yeshiva.
Shomron said Likud-Beiteinu will see whether Habayit Hayehudi now rejects joining a coalition government with haredi parties.
The co-leader of the Sefardi haredi Shas political party MK Aryeh Deri accused Yeshh Atid of “pure hatred for haredim.”
"Today it was made clear that behind the supposed care for equal share of the burden stands pure hatred for haredim,” he told Ynet.