The Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael met yesterday and agreed to a compromise on the draft law offered by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, while Yisrael Beyteynu leader Avigdor Leiberman refused to back down on his demands making new elections appear inevitable.
“This evening, invitations to personal meetings with the prime minister, as well as the announcement from the Moetzet, were released a mere 10 minutes before the evening editions were scheduled to go to print,” a press release from Yisrael Beyteynu announced. “This is seen as a multi-pronged move to lay the blame for any collapse [of coalition talks] and return to new elections on MK Leiberman and Yisrael Beyteynu.
“The truth is that the blame for the new elections are the responsibility of the Likud and those who head the party. After a failed attempt to establish a government under optimal conditions, we had hoped the prime minister would exert pressure on the chareidi parties and the Rabbanim who stand behind them.
“Our proposal remains on the table, and we do not intend to compromise on our positions of principle.”
Earlier in the day, a meeting of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of Agudas Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael approved a compromise presented by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu concerning the draft law of yeshiva students. The proposal states that recruitment targets will be in accordance with text of the law proposed by Avigdor Leiberman, but the final tables for the goals will be left to the Cabinet’s decision. In addition, the section dealing with expiration of the law, in the event that the objectives are not met, would be transferred to the Cabinet.
After approval by the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, which described it as a breakthrough in the draft law negotiations, a senior member of the Likud told the meida that “the ball is now in Avigdor Leiberman’s court. If he agrees, there can be a right-wing government this evening.”