Likud MKs approve Plesner report, setting stage for Haredi recruitment
Move comes after thousands protest Saturday night
Netanyahu: 'This is a historic change'
In a surprising and historic move, Likud members of Knesset approved the Plesner committee report on army and national service Sunday morning, setting the stage for the enlistment of Haredi soldiers.
Likud MKs took the vote after some 35,000 Israelis took to the streets Saturday night in Tel Aviv, protesting their status as "suckers" who go to the army while Haredi youth are granted an exemption to study in yeshiva.
Apparently feeling the public pressure, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu agreed to all the Plesner committee recommendations with the exception of a modified national service requirement for Arab citizens. Netanyahu had dissolved the Plesner committee only last week, citing irreconciable differences among members, a move that was widely interpreted as a gift to Haredi parties. Now, a joint government committee will meet to form legislation with the aim of presenting a bill to Knesset by next Monday.
Netanyahu made the following statement Sunday at the Knesset:
The move comes just hours after more than 35,000 IDF reserve soldiers and their supporters marched on the Tel Aviv Art Museum, just across the street from the Kirya, the military headquarters of the IDF.
Joined by politicians from across the political spectrum, the march was part of what has come to be called the "suckers" movement. The Hebrew word, "fraier," connotes someone who willingly submits to unjust or ridiculous demands without protest.
Specifically, they called for an end to exemptions for Haredi Jews and Israeli Arabs from the military draft or non-military national service.
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