Shas MK: Cut haredi high school budgets

MK Ya'akov Margi fully supports funding cuts for haredi schools who discriminate against Sephardic girls.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

MK Yaakov Margi
MK Yaakov Margi
Flash 90

Shas and the Degel Hatorah faction (part of the UTJ), continue to fight regarding the threat to cut funding to high schools which discriminate against Sephardic girls.

In an interview with Kikar Hashabat on Monday, the head of the Education Committee, MK Ya'akov Margi (Shas) harshly criticized the way that the Education Ministry's Haredi District Manager, Itzik Zahavi, was handling the issue. Margi also declared that he supported the funding cuts, and that he does not fear Degel Hatorah.

In the same interview, Margi stated that he is not afraid of being attacked, since Shas has the support of its own Torah leaders.

"I would not act on or implement any of these actions, without the support of Shas, the Council of Torah Scholars (Moetzet Chachmei Hatorah) and its spiritual leader, Rabbi Shalom Cohen," he said.

Most of Degel Hatorah's anger is aimed at Tzvika Cohen and Itzik Zahavi.

Zahavi has been accused of interfering in the decisions of school principals.

Margi thinks otherwise, and claims that Zahavi should have been harsher: "[It in fact is the] opposite. I think that he [Zahavi] has been [too] patient. The fact that we are [already] in the middle of October is a [direct] result of Zahavi trying to negotiate. Only when there was no other option did he hold the hearing. I think that Zahavi was patient, and in my opinion, too patient. He was too soft with them. Next year, we must not end up in this situation."

Regarding the threats that Degel Hatorah has recently made, Margi said, "These are 'external' threats. They are also happy with the result."

Moshe Gafni (UTJ) and Yaakov [Litzman] (UTJ), who have criticized funding cuts to haredi high schools, claimed that this step was inappropriate and should not be allowed to happen.

However, Margi believes that these sanctions are worthy. In his words, "A principal who does not follow the rules of those who control the purse strings, should not receive their money. They are not leaving him a choice."

For several years, the issue of discrimination in haredi schools has been in the headlines. Many schools cap the number of Sephardic students they are willing to accept, and one school even built a wall to separate its Ashkenazic and Sephardic students.