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Sun, Jul 7, 2013 News from Israel

Cabinet approves draft reform

Draft reform to go into effect only four years from now

Hundreds of port workers join Labor Party to get rid of Yachimovitch

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The cabinet on Sunday approved the outline of a bill that would require ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces. The "sharing the national burden" bill will be brought to a vote in the Knesset next week. According to the bill, beginning in July 2017, yeshiva students will be drafted into the IDF or civil service at age 18, with the exception of 1800 gifted Torah scholars. The bill does not call for drafting Israeli Arab citizens. The outline was formulated by a committee headed by government Minister Yaakov Peri. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the change would be made gradually, with consideration for the special needs of the ultra-Orthodox public. Netanyahu said the government's goals are the integration of haredi youth into military and civil service, and their integration into the work force. Haredi draft was a major campaign promise of Finance Minister Yair Lapid, who called the outline a historic change. Knesset members from ultra-Orthodox parties accused the government of persecuting the haredi minority.

‘Equal Burden’ law approved by government- Full Report

IDB Holdings controlling shareholder Nochi Dankner presented a new debt-payment arrangement to IDB bondholders in court on Sunday. Dankner offered to inject over 841 million NIS into IDB to retain control of the company, but did not reveal the new source of funding, since Argentinean billionaire Eduardo Elsztain backed out of a partnership with Dankner last week. The court is expected to rule if Dankner may retain control of IDB next month.

Histadrut Labor Federation Chairman Ofer Einy cancelled a planned press conference on Sunday when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him to a meeting to discuss ports reform and privatization. Einy had been planning to announce a labor dispute over the government's announcement it would publish tenders for the construction of private ports at the Ashdod and Haifa ports.
Port workers and their families are joining the Labor Party for the purpose of defeating Labor Chairman Sheli Yachimovitch in revenge for her harsh public criticism of Ashdod Port Workers Committee Chairman Alon Hassan. Yachimovitch called on Hassan to resign over conflict of interest allegations.

And finally: Israeli Arab author and journalist Sayed Kashua wrote the popular satirical sitcom "Arab Labor" about an Israeli Arab journalist caught between Israel's Arab and Jewish societies. Now director Eran Riklis is directing a movie version of Kashua's novel, "Dancing Arabs."

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