Friday, August 22, 2008

Chareidim & Budget Cuts

JPost published excerpt

The aftershock from last week's publication of the Treasury's 2009 budget proposal is still reverberating throughout the haredi community. With the cabinet slated to vote on the proposal on Sunday, fiscal issues have been pushed to center stage in the haredi media.

Haredi newspapers lamented the proposed cut of NIS 200 million from the NIS 400m. yeshiva budget, which pays stipends to post-high school-age men who study in yeshivot. In its heyday, before Shinui joined Ariel Sharon's government in 2003, this budget was NIS 1 billion.

This weekend's Yom Leyom, Shas's mouthpiece, led with a story about the party's failure to find a sympathetic ear among Kadima's leading politicians for the haredi community's special budget needs.

The paper also attacked the Treasury's proposal to cut child allotments from NIS152 a month per child to NIS135, at a time when Shas's main political demand from any future prime minister is beefed-up child allotments. Shas is demanding an NIS 1b. addition, while the Treasury is hoping to cut NIS 500m. and reallocate about NIS 200m. of that to programs that help children, such as the hot lunch and extended school-day programs.

In other haredi papers, the trend was similar. The front-page headline of the weekly Bakehila was "A Broken Promise," which referred to Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz's about-face on child allotments.


  1. Like every other economy in the world, Israel's economy is suffering.

    It is sad that while allotments for feeding Jewish children are being cut, millions of NIS are being spent to bring Gentile olim to Israel and convert them, many are elderly and single mothers who will be nothing but a burden on an already strained economy.

    And yet the pressure is still on for Israel to accept and support hundreds of thousands of Chinese Christians, Hispanic Christians,Russian Christians, Black Hebrew Christians, Ethiopian Christians, Afghanistani Christians who claim they are lost Jews, all at the expense of Jewish children who are starving.

    "I have been young and now I am old, yet have I not seen a righteous man forsaken, nor his seed begging for food" (Ps. 37:25).

    This is nothing more than a hope in the Zionist State which is anything BUT a Jewish state.

  2. I would like to feel sympathetic but I can't. After all, the $200 billion the government is still giving will be handed to able bodied men who refuse to get a basic secular education and jobs to support themselves with.

    I have always been bothered by this inconsistency in Chareidi doctrine. To wit:
    Israel IS NOT a Jewish state because it's not run according to halachah. Therefore Chareidim need not feel it as any religious signficance for them.
    Israel IS a Jewish state, therefore it must provide unlimited handouts to a non-productive sector of the population for an unlimited time and expect nothing in return.

    Isn't that hypocrisy?


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