Kadima leader and Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz with the able assistance from Tal Law Committee and Knesset Minister Yohanan Plesner have disclosed their true intent for joining Prime Minister Netanyahu and the governing coalition, namely to break up the previous coalition in order to gain the ability to force elections and use such a threat to enact their views and hijack the government. The Kadima Ministers in the Knesset have individually and collectively threatened to break away from the coalition they recently joined this May if their demands for stringent enforcement with harsh penalties for all Hareidim into IDF service. This move was designed to force Prime Minister Netanyahu to acquiesce to this demand which would cause a number of other parties from the original and much narrower coalition to quit the coalition. The parties this was aimed to tear away from the coalition included Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, Yaakov Litzman’s United Torah Judaism, Eli Yishai’s Shas, and Daniel Hershkowitz’s Jewish Home; which would leave a coalition consisting of Likud, Ehud Barak’s Independence Party and Kadima which would give Kadima the leverage to control the agenda. The only miscalculation was their believing that Prime Minister Netanyahu was so concerned about retaining the support of Kadima as a measure of moderation against the media had criticism that the original coalition as too right wing. As it turns out, Prime Minister Netanyahu appears to have little problem in having Kadima exit the coalition if they do not get their leftist extremist IDF Hareidim draft legislation worded exactly the way they proposed it.
So, what is the hang-up over between a large number of original coalition members and the Kadima proposals? Oddly enough, it all comes down to something that the left is supposed to favor, diversity. The Kadima proposal for legislation for a new draft law to replace the old and ruled unconstitutional Tal Law was to include strict enforcement with strident calls for severe punishments for any Hareidim who refused to serve when called to enlist in the IDF or participate in some form of national service. When it came to Arab Israelis and other Israeli minorities, who currently are not forced to serve similarly to the Hareidim, they had vague and undefined language which would allow these deferments to remain unaltered. Most of the rest of the coalition members were demanding that if the Hareidim were to be forced into some version of national service with few if any allowed to be deferred for fulltime Torah study as was previously allowed, they also wanted the same exacting requirements for the nearly one and a half million Arab population in the name of fairness rather than diversity. Kadima refused to allow equal treatment for Arab Israelis and Haredi Israelis, they wished only to subject the most orthodox and religious Jews to face minimally eighty percent enlistment, an even higher rate than secular and moderately religious Jews currently serve, while allowing Arab Israelis a complete pass on any form of national service. This was the wedge which Kadima had nefariously planned to divide the coalition then hijack control over the coalition and the national agenda. Now Kadima is making one last stand on their demands and it appears that Prime Minister Netanyahu will be perfectly content for them to fall on their swords and leave the coalition they had joined with such fanfare all the way back in May. So soon, you really have to go? Aww, we will really miss you, well, not so much.
Beyond the Cusp