- Obama’s regulatory agenda will cost U.S. economy $143B next year: report
- Patriot Act author on James Clapper: Fire, prosecute him
- Russia P.M. Medvedev: No amnesty for political prisoners
- Michigan GOP Senate hopeful reminds government is the ‘servant’
- Christmas, by Congress: Members mull a 15-cent tax on trees
- U.S. unemployment falls to five-year low of 7 percent; 203K jobs added
- World mourns Nelson Mandela and celebrates his life; burial set for Dec. 15
- Bill O’Reilly reminds: Nelson Mandela ‘was a communist’
- John Boehner says GOP should support gay candidates: ‘I do’
- Grass-Whopper: Pan-fried cricket burgers go over big in New York City
Israel’s Netanyahu faces coalition crisis
Question of the Day
The government is racing to draw up a new draft law ahead of a court-ordered Aug. 1 deadline. The Supreme Court has ruled that the current system, which exempts ultra-Orthodox men from mandatory military service, is illegal.
On Monday, Mr. Netanyahu disbanded a parliamentary committee working on a new draft law because of deep disagreements among its members. Ultra-Orthodox parties oppose any change in the current system.
Mr. Netanyahu‘s decision led his largest coalition partner, Kadima, to threaten to leave the government. Kadima joined the coalition only in May with the goal of reforming the current draft system.
He said that the disbanded committee, led by a Kadima lawmaker, still would issue its recommendations this week and that if Mr. Netanyahu did not take the “necessary step” of using the report as the basis for a new draft system, “the national unity government will come to an end.”
An Israeli official said that Mr. Netanyahu was working behind the scenes to resolve the standoff. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the matter with the media, said Mr. Netanyahu planned a series of meetings with coalition partners this week in search of a solution.
He said Mr. Netanyahu remains committed to key principles worked out with Kadima: ensuring that all sectors of Israeli society perform national service, making sure that changes are implemented gradually and maintaining national unity.
The issue of draft exemptions is among the most divisive in Israeli society.
Under a longstanding system, Israel allows ultra-Orthodox males to skip otherwise mandatory military service in order to pursue religious studies. These exemptions, initially reserved for several hundred religious scholars, have ballooned and now apply to tens of thousands of religious men of military age.
The exemptions have bred widespread resentment among Israel’s secular majority, which argues that it is bearing an unfair burden.
The disbanded committee also was looking for ways to get Israel’s Arab minority to do a civilian national service.
Israeli Arabs are not required to serve in the military, but the panel aimed to incorporate Arabs into a civilian alternative in its goal to bring about more equality. Two committee members resigned recently after concluding that the panel was backing down on forcing Arabs into national service.
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- 'Hunger Games' delivers Obama's message on income inequality
- Spike in battlefield deaths linked to restrictive rules of engagement
- Colorado judge: Bakery owner discriminated against gay couple
- Kill team: Obama war chiefs widen drone death zones
- Rush Limbaugh: Obama trying to make Mandela death about himself
- Obama administration issues permits for wind farms to kill more eagles
- Inside China: Nuclear submarines capable of widespread attack on U.S.
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- MILLER: Obamacare enrollees include 101 members of the House of Representatives
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
The Constitution: Every issue, every time. No exceptions, no excuses. And how to get from here to there.
Why can’t humans just be free to be humans?
Get in the middle of all the action inside and outside the boxing ring.
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
White House pets gone wild!