Gafni: Public gloating against Lapid does damage

Against backdrop of repeal of Core Curriculum, UTJ's MK Moshe Gafni warns against haredi public gloating directed at Yair Lapid.

Haim Lev ,

Moshe Gafni
Moshe Gafni
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Three days after the law repealing the requirement for haredi schools to teach the "Core Curriculum" in order to receive state funding passed in a first reading in the Knesset, Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) speaks out about the haredi parties' successful efforts to walk back legislation perceived as anti-haredi.

The previous government, pushed by Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid, passed laws to gradually enforce haredi participation in the army or national service, as well as the Core Curriculum requirement.

He explains that while the haredi public deserves to know that their elected representatives have kept their promises in repealing most of the "decrees" passed by the previous government, the public bickering and gloating that has accompanied moves like the Core Curriculum repeal is harmful and unnecessary.

"We made clear in the previous election that we will do everything we can while part of the current government to reverse the decrees in the previous government. The public deserves to know that we acted in its name," said Gafni in an interview with the haredi Yated Ne'eman newspaper, "however, public statements to the effect that 'we erased Lapid and all his decrees' are unnecessary and accomplish nothing."

When asked whether Lapid might be able to eventually bring back the laws that were repealed over the past year, Gafni said that "theoretically certainly yes. Practically its unlikely. Lapid and his friends though they could change haredi society by enforcing edicts from on high, but it became clear that their mission failed. If they get back into the government and try again, everyone will laugh at them, as it would be known that we'll just reverse the decrees again when we get back into the government. This is why this kind of attempt will not recur.

MK Gafni also addressed his seemingly incessant quarreling with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon. "it's not personal. I'm not feuding with him or his people. I'm just not willing to relinquish the rights of the haredi public. There is a coalition agreement and we can't compromise on it the way we compromised with stipends for children. People like to present it as a feud but it's not. It's a matter of principle and standing up for the budget for yeshivas and the other rights of the haredi public.

"I paid a political and perceptual price for it, but it was worth it. In the end we got what we were entitled to. But I emphasize again: this is not a feud. I don't burn bridges, and even if I have disagreements with somebody, I always express them respectfully and with humor."