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article imageIsrael's Kadima party ends 70-day partnership with Likud

By Paul Iddon     Jul 17, 2012 in Politics
The Israeli Kadima political party has left the Netanyhu Likud party government over a dispute regarding the military conscription of ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs.
This comes as the two parties are unable to reach any agreement on the Tal Law, which allows seminary students in Israel to put off mandatory military service (reports BBC News, Hareetz and the New Zealand Herald).
The chairman of Kadima Shaul Mofaz has stated that "there is no choice" but to end the partnership. He states that "Netanyahu has chosen to side with the draft-dodgers," and adds that he has "reached an understanding that the prime minister has not left us a choice and so we have responded."
Mr. Netanyahu's proposal was that the oldest ultra-Orthodox Jews could be drafted into the army would be 23, as well incentives would be offered to Haredim who agree to enlist at 18. The controversy over Netanyahu's proposal is that these ultra-Orthodox Jews who do not enlist by the age of 23 would not be able to enlist in the army but would still be able to join the operational civil service.
Furthermore, 50% of the ultra-Orthodox Jews between the ages of 18 and 23 would be drafted whilst the other 50% will be drafted between the ages of 23 and 26 into operational civil service.
Mr. Mofaz stated that "Netanyahu's proposal contradicts the ruling of the High Court of Justice, does not conform to the principle of equality, is disproportionate and does not meet the tests of effectiveness that are set down in the High Court's ruling, or the principles of the committee on equalizing the burden of IDF service."
Mofaz also added that it needs to be clear that he is "referring to enlistment targets that do not include all of those eligible for the draft, and we are therefore countenancing a 'word-laundering' that in effect leaves the situation as it was."
Mr Mofaz expressed "deep regret that I say that there is no choice but to decide to leave the government."
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