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Lapid Retroactively Cuts Yeshiva Funding

Lapid utilizes technicality to take back February funding and ensure Supreme Court ruling against hareidi yeshivas is carried out.
By Ari Yashar
First Publish: 2/5/2014, 3:15 PM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) has gone out of his way to make sure hareidi yeshivas will feel the effects of the recent Supreme Court ruling Tuesday, which annulled government funding for yeshivas for 18-20 year-old students who have received a draft call and not enlisted in the army.

MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), whose Shaked Committee is expected to finish drafting a new law on hareidi enlistment in the coming weeks, said the ruling is meaningless as the yeshivas already received funding for February, and the new law should be ready in time for funding in March.

However Lapid, who praised the ruling on Wednesday for "reminding us of the law," apparently was not content with the threats of funding being in vain.

Journalist Moshe Glassner of the hareidi radio station Kol Chai reported on Wednesday that Lapid's Finance Ministry, backed by MK Tzipi Livni's Justice Ministry, has ordered to cancel the transfer of February funds to yeshivas. 

According to the report, the Education Ministry clarified that since the transfer was conducted after 12:30 p.m. yesterday (Tuesday), the allocation is adjoined to the following day, therefore enabling the cancellation.

Lapid leaped on the opportunity, canceling the transfer of all yeshivas' monthly funding, until the money allocated for students whose enlistment was postponed by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon is filtered out and cancelled.

Ya'alon had postponed the enlistment until April 2014 to give the Shaked Committee time to properly draft a law on the issue of hareidi enlistment, which apparently will be passed in March.

Hareidi MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) on Wednesday criticized the Supreme Court ruling, saying it constituted a "declaration of war" against the hareidi public.

On Saturday, Lapid similarly used his position as finance minister to cancel funds - this time to Judea and Samaria. The move came following a publication on Channel 2 claiming that money is indirectly passing to the region's Yesha Council; all transfers have been cancelled until the claims are investigated.