MK Menachem Mozes of the hareidi-religious Yahadut Hatorah (UTJ) party slammed Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Thursday, accusing him of failing to follow through on his commitments regarding Israel’s economy.
“In the last state budget they cut half a billion shekels from the funding for yeshivas, arguing that the money would be used to encourage employment in the hareidi sector,” he recalled.
“In the introduction to the budget, Finance Minister Lapid wrote that the budget that had been put forth would make workers a top priority. They cut millions of shekels, promising to encourage employment and take care of those already working,” he said.
Instead, he continued, “Nothing came of all those rosy predictions. No new workplaces were added. Unemployment didn’t shrink, it grew.”
“The government continues to lead an irresponsible economic policy with no vision,” he accused. “The strong companies in the marketplace keep getting tax benefits worth billions of shekels of our money, and yet still threaten to fire workers! The small companies, on the other hand, are collapsing under the weight of taxes, of the cost of living… Nobody thinks to help them.”
The result – the opposite of what Lapid anticipated – is a “measure for measure” outcome, he argued. He cited Jewish sages who warned that those who attempt to hurt others will ultimately harm themselves.
“That’s exactly what happened here. If you thought that by cutting yeshiva budgets and hurting the needy, the economy would be boosted and there would be new workplaces – reality came to smack you in the face… and thousands more people joined the ranks of the unemployed,” he said.
Israel has been punished in another way, as well, he added. “On the day that you approved the cruel cut to the yeshiva budget, the European Union decided to boycott products from settlements – measure for measure,” he concluded.