MK Menachem Eliezer Mozes, chairman of the United Torah Judaism Knesset faction, does not foresee the legislative situation in Israel getting any easier for hareidi parties – or hareidi communities in Israel – anytime soon.
Mozes expects the current coalition to remain intact at least through the end of the summer, and expects the Jewish Home party to remain in the government, even if the government decides to evict Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria and hand land over to the Palestinian Authority.
“Even if they bring out the bulldozers to demolish settlements, I do not see Naftali Bennett leaving the coalition. As a result I don't expect any changes in the coalition,” Mozes said in an interview with Arutz Sheva. “Things will remain difficult for the hareidi community, as the wellsprings of hate are overflowing now.”
Despite Mozes' claim, Jewish Home officials have repeatedly stated that their "red line" for staying in the coalition would be plans to give away territory to the Palestinian Authority.
The latest "insult" to the community, he said, was Finance Minister Yair Lapid's plan to cut value added tax (VAT) charges for first-time home buyers with families – a benefit that would only be available to families who had a member serve in the IDF, excluding many hareidi families. “What this law means is that families who did not have a member serving in the army will continue to live in basements and parking garages. Where is the Jewish heart?”
Lapid, said Mozes, is actually running the government, as “acting prime minister, even if that is not his title. Prime Minister Netanyahu stands at attention any time Lapid opens his mouth. Whatever Lapid decides is 'good for the Jews.' This is an evil and cruel government. Why are the children who are forced to live in substandard housing to blame because they were born into hareidi families? This is reminiscent of the Stalin era.
“If only Netanyahu would recognize us, the hareidi community, in the same way that he is being pressuring the Palestinians to recognize the Jewish state,” said Mozes.
Mozes' angry rhetoric against plans to end army exemptions for hareidi yeshiva students has echoed similar statements by hareidi rabbinic and political leaders, who have in the past compared plans for equal service to Soviet Russia and termed Lapid an "anti-Semite".