Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Cheshvan 5767 - November 8, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











53 Coalition Members, Including Shas, Reject UTJ's No- Confidence Motion on Budget Slashing

By Eliezer Rauchberger

"The Finance Ministry cut the yeshiva budget by over 50 percent. The Welfare Ministry's dormitory budget [which supports the yeshiva ketanos] was also cut by over 50 percent. The same with the budget for the talmudei Torah and the budget for school busing. They took an entire sector and cut [its budget funding] in half. They executed a strategic cut. Not to speak of how this sector was seriously harmed by the cut in other matters such as health care, welfare and more."

MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni made these forceful remarks during a Knesset plenum session as he presented UTJ's no-confidence motion last Monday in response to the slashing of the budget for yeshivas and other Torah institutions in the 2007 budget.

The coalition easily defeated the motion with 53 no-votes by coalition members, including Shas representatives. Twenty-six MKs voted in favor and three abstained. UTJ expressed surprise and anger over the vote by the Shas MKs on a matter so crucial to the chareidi public and the Torah world.

Rabbi Gafni said UTJ's representatives were dismayed as soon as they laid eyes on the budget books tabled in the Knesset last week by a government that speaks of compassion and which is comprised of several parties that emphasize social affairs. "It's hard to believe a coalition like this can submit such a budget book to the Knesset," he said. "This budget creates medical treatment for the rich and education for the rich." He also censured Shas, asking how they could vote in favor of such a budget.

Rabbi Gafni said he realizes the answer to his criticism will be that between the first reading and the second and third Knesset readings, negotiations will be conducted with the Finance Ministry that will restore the funding to the yeshivas and the Torah institutions. Still those negotiations usually stir great incitement against the chareidi public, he said, because the negotiations inevitably begin with talks over the yeshiva budgets, even though the budget book includes significant cuts in welfare, health care, education, etc.

"And then they will have to transfer hundreds of millions to the budgets for the yeshivas and Torah institutions, and I can already see how it will be portrayed in the newspaper headlines — that at a time when funds are taken away from health care, education and welfare we are demanding hundreds of millions for yeshivas. And you will be responsible for this incitement," he told Shas.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.