Rabbi Litzman: ‘I Can Not Support the Budget as Long as Draft Law Does Not Pass’

Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman speaks the Am Echad delegation dinner this week.

After it seemed that the latest coalition crisis was resolved and postponed to a later date, Deputy Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman threatened Wednesday that he wouldn’t vote in favor of the 2019 budget, unless the Draft Law has first passed.

“All coalition factions are expected to vote for the laws that were part of the coalition agreements, if they want the continuation of the coalition. Part of our agreement with the government was to vote for a new draft law. The draft law is an inseparable part of the coalition agreement and we expect all coalition factions to support this law.

“In accordance with the directive of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael to pass the draft law of the yeshivah students before the budget is approved, I will not be able to support the state budget as long as the draft law does not pass,” said Rabbi Litzman.

Political analysts note that the legal date for the approval of the 2019 budget is December 31, with a legal option of an extension until April 2019, while the approval of updated Draft Law needs to be voted on until September 2018, after the High Court ruling that annulled the previous draft law.

A letter from Harav Mordechai Stern, secretary of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael, with the directive to the MKs to ensure the draft law is voted on before the budget.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu reportedly invited the heads of the chareidi parties to his office to discuss the matter at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Knesset adjourned earlier than usual on Wednesday in deference to the Purim festival, and no discussion was held on the draft bill.

“What is the urgency to approve the state budget more than six months before the initial cut-off date and a full year before the last date permitted by law? If Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon sees an urgency to pass the budget, let him also support the draft law as per the coalition agreement,” added a source in UTJ.

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