Yesh Atid MKs and supporters conducted a protest on Thursday outside the Ministry of Defense headquarters in Tel Aviv to protest the removal of criminal sanctions against yeshiva students who do not serve in the IDF.
Speaking at the protest, Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid said that the establishment of the new government was “a sad day for Israel, even though it is the day we celebrate the contribution of IDF reserve soldiers. The new government will be committed to canceling out the principle of equal service for all.”
With the new government established Wednesday night, haredi parties United Torah Judaism and Shas are expected to demand an immediate repeal of rules put into effect by Lapid and Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett during the last government.
Those rules required all all Israelis to serve in the IDF, except for several thousand “outstanding” scholars, and included sanctions against those who refused to or failed to serve.
According to reports, UTJ demanded a promise from Netanyahu to repeal those rules as its price for entering the government.
“All those who claim to care about security – Netanyahu, Bennett, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon – are signing on to a deal that will ensure that it is only the 'suckers' who serve in the IDF. They are the ones who will continue to send their children to the army, while others will sit by the side and reap the benefits given them by the groups who have managed to blackmail the coalition,” Lapid said.
“This is a scandal for any Israeli who does serve his country, who works hard and pays his taxes,” Lapid added. “This narrow, paranoid coalition is an embarrassment for all Israelis who care about their country.”