Military Service Bill – Netanyahu Accuses Gallant of Endangering Stability

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. (Photo: המכללה האקדמית ספיר, via Wikimedia Commons)

Last week, Gallant announced that he would not submit the new draft bill as long as there is no consensus in the government and the war cabinet about it.

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has reportedly accused Defense Minister Yoav Gallant of endangering the government’s stability because he did not submit a new draft bill to the Knesset that exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews from army service.

Netanyahu told Gallant “If you do not present a decision to the government by Sunday regarding the Knesset vote on the army service bill, you are endangering its stability,” the Middle East Monitor reported, citing the Israeli Broadcasting Corporation (KAN).

Gallant had asked “for a few more days to reach an understanding” with war cabinet minister and leader of the National Unity Party, Benny Gantz, who opposes the bill, the report stated.

‘We Will Buy Tickets and Go’ – Haredim to Leave Israel if Forced into Army

Last week, Gallant announced that he would not submit the new draft bill, which exempts ultra-Orthodox Jews from military service, to a vote in the Knesset as long as there is no consensus in the government and the war cabinet about it.

“If a wide consensus is not achieved, I will not be submitting the conscription law at the behest of the Defense Ministry, ” Gallant is quoted by The Jerusalem Post as saying.

Gantz opposes the draft bill and demands all segments of Israeli society participate in compulsory military service.

However, Netanyahu had agreed with the religious parties who are members of his governing coalition that he would approve the bill, reported MEMO.

Chief Rabbi’s Uproar

The disagreements come after the Chief Rabbi of Sephardic Jews, Yitzhak Yosef, caused an uproar earlier this week when he said during a religious sermon that if compulsory service was imposed on Haredi Jews, they would leave Israel.

“All these secularists must understand that without the Torah and the religious school, the army would not have succeeded,” he reportedly said.

Channel 12 reportedly quoted the chief rabbi as saying, “If they force us to join the army, we would all fly out of the country, buy tickets, and go.”

“They have to understand this, all those secularists, they don’t get it,” Yosef said, warning that “it puts the state at stake.”

Ultra-Orthodox Jews reject Israel’s secular education system, preferring to send their children to religious schools (yeshivas).

Under current Israeli law, Jews educated at yeshivas are exempted from military service.

The disagreements also come at a critical time for Netanyahu who has been facing widespread criticism both at home and abroad because of the genocidal war he has waged on Palestinians in Gaza.


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