Eichler at Knesset plenum
Eichler at Knesset plenumFlash 90

On Wednesday night MK Yisrael Eichler (United Torah Judaism) responded in his speech in the Knesset plenum to what he perceived as "collective punishment," referring to the economic plans advanced by Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) for the haredi community,

At the beginning of his speech, he referred to MK Alex Kushnir's roots: "MK Alex Kushnir, who is Liberman's, was born in the town of Drohobych. It could very well be that his ancestors were hasidic, and perhaps even from the Belz hasidic dynasty."

"That is why it is so painful, so infuriating, and so disappointing that they make decrees on day of Purim Katan (the 15th of the first Jewish month of Adar), with justifications, as it is said: 'There is a certain people scattered and separate among the peoples throughout all the provinces of your kingdom, and their laws differ from those of very people, and they do not keep the the king's laws (Esther 3:8).'"

"Both Communists and nationalists argued that Jews do not work, that they should teach them to work and ban them from studying Torah. This week, the government decided to issue decrees against babies whose mothers want to go work to support them, but who will not receive discounts just because their husbands study Torah.

"This did not happen in the times of Ahasuerus, it does not happen with the Communists, it happens here, in the Land of Israel. I remember an MK sitting in a prison for corruption and she led the first decree years ago, against a tax rebate on housing, provided both spouses work, just like slaves in Russia. The goal: that they will not be able to raise children and start a wonderful family. You see families blessed with many children as a threat to the world."

Eichler added: "In every other country there would be a popular uprising against a government that makes specific decrees against a certain population. The disposables, sugary drinks, and now with the decrees of denying discounts specifically for arnona (property tax), daycares and afternoon childcare programs, for haredim. You, the coalition and the government, are supporting this crime."

"Therefore you have no right to say that you represent a Jewish state. It is a shame and disgrace. You represent the opposite of a Jewish state. A Jewish state would strengthen families with children, strengthen the poor, help them with property tax rebates, help them with discounts for mothers who work to support the family. You think you can be called A Jewish state?!

"Putin's Russia is threatening Ukraine with 1,500 fighter jets and Ukraine only has 67 planes. It makes more sense to have the audacity to do that. But the 61st government - where does it get the audacity to come and declare decrees, divide the people and create a civil war? What are you doing? A young generation will grow up here that will know that you are its enemies, that you hate it. We will not agree to an anti-Jewish and anti-democratic state under any circumstances."