The Yeshiva Ketana Law approved by the previous Knesset, which allows
the yeshivos ketanos to continue functioning according to the
tradition handed down through the generations and yet to be eligible
for funding, is legal said Knesset Legal Adviser Atty. Eyal Yinon in
an opinion he submitted to the High Court in a petition to reject the
law as unconstitutional.
The petition was filed by Professors Amnon Rubinstein and Uriel
Reichman, claiming the law to exempt yeshivos ketanos from the
so-called Core Curriculum was unconstitutional. According to the
petitioners, the law harms chareidi students' "human dignity" by
depriving them of the ability to integrate into society and of
acquiring the essential skills needed to exercise their human autonomy
and to make life choices freely.
The High Court issued a decree nisi against the Knesset, saying the
case would be heard by a bench of nine judges.
Now the Knesset, in a notice submitted to the High Court, insisted
that the law is legal and that the court should not intervene in the
matter. The Knesset explained that the curriculum taught at the
yeshivos ketanos has been in place since the founding of the
State and that the law has not created a new norm, but merely
enshrines an established practice in law.
Knesset Legal Adviser Yinon said the petitioners' claim is highly
problematic because it is based on a paternalistic outlook that seeks
to impose a set perspective of citizenship on a minority group that
holds different perspectives. The Knesset's legal adviser also
rejected the petitioners' attempt to frame the constitutional
interpretation according to the values of the secular majority, adding
that the variance and values of chareidi society should be respected
and taken into account.