Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

4 Kislev 5765 - November 17, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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MK Rabbi Gafni: If You Don't Provide Funding, Don't Charge Us Taxes

by Eliezer Rauchberger

Speaking during a Knesset plenum, MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni attacked the government for its imperviousness to problems in the area of economics and its harsh treatment of the poor and the unfortunate. "Any heartless individual with no understanding of economics could have made an economic plan like the one the current government devised. It's as simple as can be: take from the poor and save a lot of money. Deny children food, take from the elderly, take from development towns, from the local authorities — which are in a state of crisis — from the religious councils, from all those who are unable to cope with having the government and the Finance Ministry take money away from them and give it to the rich. And presto, here's the economic plan. Billions in savings."

Rabbi Gafni said that he would like to suggest, in the name of the chareidi public, that the government and the Education Ministry not interfere with the curriculum of chareidi children and not fund the education system, but also not collect taxes from the chareidi sector.

"Since it is always being said that the chareidi public studies in a way that differs from the [mainstream] education system, I propose to the Finance Minister that the chareidi public not receive a single shekel from the [State] education systems. I am serious about this. We are willing to forego all of it, on condition you don't collect [tax] money from us.

"The role of the government is to collect taxes from citizens and use them to pay for and fund the various systems for the benefit of the citizens. I propose that not a single shekel is given to us or collected from us. After all we don't work, are not productive, we don't make a contribution — according to you. So I propose, in all seriousness, that we do not pay taxes and are not given anything. Neither your honey nor your sting.

"Don't tell me what to study in my education system. It has done fine without you. Don't tell me what to do with my children. Don't collect taxes from me and don't give me anything. I forego it all . . .

"Don't help us and don't interfere with us, not in curriculum and not in [funding]. Don't charge us taxes. Let us run our lives alone. Don't do us any favors . . .

"They even tell us what to study. And everyone steps up here and attacks the money we receive. It used to be said that the chareidi public receives from those who are not chareidi who work. Today, there has been a reversal. I pay taxes that go to fostering education systems that do no good. I don't want to fund this. With my money I fund the general education system [while] our funding is cut day by day. I forego all. I don't want to pay VAT, I don't want to pay income tax, I don't want to pay anything. With my money, I'll fund my own education system. Why should I have to fund other education systems?"


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