Religious parties holding Israel 'hostage': Lieberman

United Torah Judaism refuses to endorse 2019 budget unless ultra-orthodox Jews are exempted from army service

Religious parties holding Israel 'hostage': Lieberman

World Bulletin / News Desk

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday accused ultra-orthodox Jewish political parties of holding Israel “hostage” by insisting that members of their community be exempted from military service.

Lieberman made the remarks in response to earlier threats by the United Torah Judaism party that it would not endorse a proposed budget for 2019 unless legislation was ratified exempting ultra-orthodox Jews from military conscription.

The defense minister described proposed legislation to this effect -- drafted by religious parties -- as a “surrender to extortion”.

Lieberman went on to assert that his Yisrael Beiteinu party would only support conscription-related legislation prepared by the military.

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, meanwhile, has vowed to resign if the proposed budget is not approved by the end of this month -- a move that could lead to the collapse of Israel’s Likud-led coalition government.

“We don’t want [early] elections, but we won’t abandon the principles of security and responsibility,” Lieberman said.

Last Mod: 10 Mart 2018, 09:28
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