High Court Presses Knesset on New Draft Law

YERUSHALAYIM -

Israeli High Court judges pressed state attorneys on Tuesday for the completion of a new law for drafting chareidim into the military.

Members of a maximum nine-judge panel repeatedly demanding to know when the new legislation would be ready were told each time that the Knesset “was working intensively” and said that it [the state] “had no prophetic powers” that could enable prediction of a date for completion of the work.

The court said that several months have passed since Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein’s urged the government to expedite the matter, and expressed exasperation that the state seemed to have no idea when it would happen.

The state responded that a letter Weinstein wrote at the time had merely been a tool trying to speed the legislative process forward, but did not commit the state to any specific deadline.

Knesset Speaker Uri Edelstein has resisted outside pressure, saying essentially that it’s not the Attorney-General’s job to set schedules for the legislature.

Meanwhile, the Knesset committee charged with the task of revising the legislative proposal concerning the draft is still addressing issues of criminal versus financial sanctions to be imposed on yeshivah students who refuse to leave their studies to enter the military or national service.