Maverick MK Haim Amsallem (Shas) accused the hareidi leadership of repressing and misrepresenting the hareidi masses, most of whom want to join the IDF and earn a living like the rest of Israel's citizens.
The hareidi leadership – which he described as being composed equally of political figures and journalists – restricts the hareidi public "so that it does not open its ears and eyes," he explained – for then it will want to "leave the shell in which it has been tied up."
"This hareidi public wants to earn a living respectably," he said." And it knows it is being fooled when it is told that going out to work is 'poison'… and they are tired of being told that they are parasites and do not serve, but they are in a trap."
MK Amsallem said that United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni was himself a "Sikrik" – as a violent extremist group within the hareidi world is known – because the newspaper that reflects UTJ's opinions, Yated Ne'eman, is a violent one. MK Amsallem was unhappy with MK Gafni's statement that he would stop encouraging hareidim to enlist in the IDF.
The hareidi public is gentle and moderate, he said, but the press latches onto stories about the ultra-extremist groups in the hareidi world that are like "wild wolves," he said.