MK Yaakov Eichler (UTJ) on Monday attacked Finance Minister Yair Lapid, saying that he was “guilty of hate crimes against haredi Israelis.”
In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Eichler said that much of the legislation Lapid was pushing – from the bill to draft haredi yeshiva students into the army to denying first-time haredi home-buyers a discount on VAT payments that will be awarded to other Israelis – had a clear anti-haredi bent. “They talk about 'hate crimes' against Jews when someone draws some picture on a wall somewhere. Even if someone's tire were to be slashed, we are talking about damages of maybe 1,000 shekels.
“But here, in the government of Israel, sits a man responsible for hate crimes against at least a million haredi citizens of this country,” said Eichler. “Arabs will no doubt be allowed to get the VAT exemption because they are Arabs, the courts will see to that – but for haredi Israelis no one will stand up to defend.
“If police are interested in hate crimes, they should be investigating Lapid's hate crimes,” he added.
According to Eichler, the VAT discount on first-time home purchasers for IDF veterans has nothing to do with the fact that they are soldiers. “If that was the case he would be offering them bonuses,” Eichler said. “I call on the police and the Attorney General to investigate the actions of the Finance Minister, instead of using all their resources to search for kids who may or may have not drawn anti-Arab graffiti on walls. These hate crimes are being done publicly, by the country's leaders, not by a gang of kids,” he added.