Jewish Home leader calls for haredi army service, rejects portfolio offer
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In his first speech as a Knesset member, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett defended Torah studies in the ultra-Orthodox community, but also stressed that “serving in the army is a mitzvah.”
“Studying Torah is an existential interest of the entire nation of Israel,” he said in a Feb. 12 speech. “Without the Torah, we wouldn’t be here.”
But “the current situation cannot continue to exist. It cannot be that [haredim] do not serve in the army. It cannot be that they do not shoulder some of the financial burden.”
The previous day, Bennett met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss forming a government coalition. But on Feb. 13 Bennett rejected Netanyahu’s portfolio offers for his party, saying he would wait until the prime minister has outlined the new government’s policies and priorities. — ynetnews.com
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