Finance Minister Yair Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party is pushing for hareidi men to be required to enlist in the IDF, “is the best thing that has ever happened to the hareidi community,” MK Moshe Feiglin (Likud) declared Sunday in a post to his Facebook page.
Feiglin has previously criticized Lapid over his insistence that hareidi men join the army. He clarified that he still believes Lapid is wrong.
“As I wrote here before, [hareidi MK] Yisrael Eichler did more for Israel’s security than Yair Lapid… Some other time, I’ll prove that Yisrael Eichler is better for Israel’s economy than Yair Lapid, too,” he wrote.
“But still, Yair Lapid is the best thing that has happened to the hareidi community,” he wrote.
“Because even though the whole story of ‘equal burden of service’ is the spin of the century, Lapid is right about one very important thing. The hareidi way of life in Israel must change,” he declared.
Specifically, he continued, the lifestyle which sees many hareidi men study Torah full-time for many years. “There’s no such thing as everyone being able to learn Torah all day, just because you put them in black clothes,” he argued. “80-90% of people cannot sit and learn all day.”
“That means that if you force them to sit there, their potential is wasted, and they rot,” he warned.
Successive Israeli governments allowed the “hareidi bubble” to grow bigger and bigger due to their interest in getting support from the hareidi Knesset factions, he said. Lapid changed that.
“When Lapid left [the hareidi factions] outside the coalition, he brought the problem to the surface. And that’s the first step toward a solution,” Feiglin stated.
Hareidi protest a ‘Purim shpiel’
Feiglin also spoke about the major hareidi protest planned for Sunday. The protest just emphasizes how “everyone involved is saying and doing the opposite of what they really think,” he said.
“The last thing that Lapid wants is for hareidi men to flood the army. But the system of ‘screw them over’ and win votes is working wonderfully for him,” he charged.
“The last thing the army wants is the hareidi community – the military is already carrying the weight of the roughly 50% of soldiers who aren’t needed,” he argued. “More enlisted soldiers, with special needs regarding kosher food and gender segregation – who needs it? But the Chief of Staff will never say that publicly.”
“Many hareidi youth actually want to enlist,” he continued. “To finally be part of their country, to be able to earn an honest living.”
“But of course, they’ll be at the protest, to preserve their place in the flock,” he said.
“For hareidi leaders, Lapid is worth his weight in gold. In today’s reality of Internet and smart phones, it’s not easy to keep the youth isolated from Israeli culture. The ‘demon’ Lapid, the ‘Amaleki Titus,’ allows them to build the walls higher,” he accused.
“Just like a real Purim ball,” he wrote. “Each person arrives with a mask that is the inverse of reality.”