Daily Israel Report

Lapid: Teach Hareidi Kids English, Secular Kids Talmud

In his first Knesset speech as a member of the plenum, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid touched on a variety of topics
By David Lev
First Publish: 2/11/2013, 6:47 PM

Lapid's First Knesset Speech
Lapid's First Knesset Speech
Flash 90

In his first Knesset speech as a member of the plenum, Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid touched on a variety of topics, from the peace process to, of course, the hareidi student draft issue. Speaking of his feelings as a new Knesset member, Lapid said that “many of us here have disputes, but to me this plenum represents not just the right to debate, but the fact that all disputes must have a resolution, and that that resolution must come from here.”

Lapid said that the Knesset must lead the way in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Surprisingly, he said, many Knesset members prefer to ignore the issues involved in those negotiations, satisfying themselves with mouthing slogans. “Despite the fact that we realize that these issues are like dynamite that everyone is afraid to handle, we really have no choice, because we were elected to deal with these difficulties, not run away from them.”

According to Lapid, all Israelis must obey the law, whether they agree with it or not. “Israeli law cannot survive under threats of violence and disobedience,” he said. “Anyone who wants his voice to be heard has permission to do so, but they must realize that if the state decided against their wishes, they must obey that decision, even if it violates all that is holy in their eyes.”

Lapid then turned his attention to the Hareidi draft issue. “The discussion on this issue has generated talk of a civil war. There will be no civil war in the wake of the Hareidi draft issue.” The Hareidim, he said, were no more than 10% of the Israeli population, “and 10% of the population will not threaten a civil war against the other 90%.”

Lapid added that he was in favor of increasing engagement for students on both the secular and religious sides of the school systems. “Is it  too much to ask  that we could live in a country where hareidi children learn English, while secular children know what a page of Talmud looks like?”