The Shas party criticized journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid on Tuesday, over his alternative to the Tal Law, which exempts hareidi-religious soldiers from service in the IDF.
Lapid outlined his plan in the first conference of his new party, Yesh Atid, which he held earlier Tuesday. Lapid’s plan would give, in the first stage, an automatic exemption from serving in the IDF to all hareidim.
The second stage of the plan would be implemented five years later and as part of it, every citizen who turns 18 will be required to enlist in the army or perform civil service. Those who refuse to serve will lose all their rights to benefits and scholarships with the exception of national insurance.
“Mr. Lapid, we do not hate you but the public is getting tired of your hypocritical language games,” Shas said in a statement, directly addressing Lapid after he directly addressed hareidim in his earlier remarks.
“If you had only studied the matter a little deeper you would have found that those individuals who study Judaism do not receive special allowances and that the vast majority of the members of the traditional-religious community served in IDF combat and specialized commando units while you were attacking old newspapers on the hills of the Bamachane newspaper,” added Shas, referring to Lapid’s military service as a journalist for the IDF newspaper.
“For once,” the party told Lapid, “try to study seriously without using shady methods in the academia.”
The last part of the remarks was referring to the "Lapid Affair", which began when the Council for Higher Education was asked to probe a decision by Bar Ilan University to admit Lapid directly to a Master's and then a Doctoral program, despite his not having a B.A. degree.
The prestigious Culture and Interpretation program, to which he was accepted, normally requires students to complete a B.A. with Honors before they can be considered for acceptance.
The affair came to a close on Tuesday when the Plenary Committee of the CHE voted unanimously to endorse the committee’s recommendation to monitor and enforce basic requirements for admissions to graduate programs at Israeli Universities.
The council ultimately rejected the notion of "exceptional conditions" and voted to bar anyone who has not completed an undergraduate degree from graduate programs.