A dispute over military draft exemptions exposed cracks in Israel’s ruling coalition on Monday, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed a panel charged with drafting reforms of the law on the emotive issue.
Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz, head of coalition partner Kadima, threatened to end their two-month-old alliance unless Netanyahu pushed for reforms to make more ultra-Orthodox Israelis and Arab citizens eligible for military or national service.
Mofaz’s outburst at a party meeting followed an announcement by Netanyahu earlier in the day that a panel headed by a Kadima member, charged with drafting proposals for conscription reform, had been “for all intents and purposes … disbanded.”
Netanyahu is also under attack from his other coalition partners, ultra-Orthodox parties who have threatened to quit if he does pursue reforms that would make their followers do military service. Netanyahu has cautiously supported the reform.