Israel to discuss "service for all" bill before parliament dissolves
Jerusalem, May 6 (Xinhua-ANI): The Israeli Ministerial Committee for Legislation will discuss alternatives to the so-called Tal Law that allows ultra-Orthodox Jews to defer their military service on Sunday, Israel Radio reported, only three days before the Knesset parliament dissolves for the general elections.
Rightist Yisrael Beiteinu party, led by Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, is the major advocate for the replacement of the Tal Law. The party is working to enable the last-minute legislation of a proposal that works against the Tal law.
Lieberman said last Thursday that he intends to get the " service for all" bill passed by May 9, despite the legislature's legal counsel saying the bill cannot be passed during the parliament recess.
While chances of getting the bill passed by Wednesday are close to zero, Lieberman's effort could secure a preliminary vote before the Knesset dissolves, and thus the issue would come up for a deciding vote as soon as the new Knesset convenes.
Lieberman had threatened to have his party quit the coalition government if the rule was not passed by May 9, but the Knesset's dissolution invalidated the threat.
Lieberman told reporters at last week's press conference that another possibility was to get 61 out of the Knesset's 120 members to sign a petition forcing the Knesset Speaker to hold a discussion on the issue, whether the body is in session or not.
The Supreme Court recently struck down the decade-old Tal Law, which allows full-time yeshiva seminary students indefinitely put off their military service.
Yisrael Beiteinu's proposal would have the 18-year-old men either enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, or perform a year of civilian national service, allowing draft exemptions for 1,000 yeshiva students, according to The Jerusalem Post.
Ultra-orthodox parties fiercely oppose the proposal, since one of its requirements calls for ending government subsidies for those who refuse either option.
Some party leaders have threatened to have thousands of students go to jail en masse, rather than conform to the proposal' s dictates. (Xinhua-ANI)
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