Likud’s deal with UTJ appears to scrap all criminal penalties for haredim who dodge Israel’s military draft, scuttle much of the recent law drafting them, and roll back a whole host of changes on religion and state issues that were meant to loosen haredi control over Israel's non-haredi majority.
Above: Rabbi Yaakov Litzman
Ashkenazi Haredim Reach Deal With PM Netanyahu On Inclusion In New Coalition Government
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud's party signed its first coalition deals today, Ha’aretz reported. The first is with Moshe Kahlon's Kulanu Party, which is a breakaway from Likud. The other deal is with the Ashkenazi haredi United Torah Judaism Party (UTJ).
"We obtained a lot, mainly on social issues. I’m supposed to be deputy health minister. Healthcare in Israel needs a little shaking up, and I plan to cause a positive earthquake to improve the situation in hospitals and HMOs,” Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, UTJ’s chairman and Gerrer hasid, said.
UTJ will not take positions as full cabinet ministers, because doing so would mandate those UTJ politicians to sit on Israel’s security cabinet and vote on security issues – something UTJ does not want to do because its followers refuse to serve in the IDF. So coalitions generally use a legal fiction and give positions like Deputy Minister of Health to UTJ, and then sometimes do not fill the full minister position – meaning that by default, the prime minister holds the full minister position but allows the “Deputy Minister” to run the ministry as if he were actually the the full minister.
According to the draft of the Likud-UTJ coalition agreement, if Netanyahu forms the new government UTJ will get the Knesset Deputy Speaker’s position for half a term. That post is reportedly expected to go to Rabbi Yisrael Eichler, a Belzer hasid who is one of the most abusive and outlandish MKs in Israel’s history.
Some reports also say Likud’s deal with UTJ scraps all criminal penalties for haredim who dodge Israel’s military draft, scuttles much of the recent law drafting them and rolls back a whole host of changes on religion and state issues that were meant to loosen haredi control over Israel's non-haredi majority.