'You only shout when it comes to helping haredim'

The opposition raged over a new bill that allots 1,040 shekels a month to needy Torah students with families.

Haim Lev ,

MK Ya'akov Litzman
MK Ya'akov Litzman
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

As part of the coalition agreement between the haredi-oriented United Torah Judaism (UTJ) and Likud, the Knesset has passed a law that promises aid for Torah students with families, as well as those of meager means.

The law stipulates that a Torah student with a family of at least three children, whose income does not exceed 1,200 shekels a month, is eligible to receive aid to the tune of 1,040 shekels a month.

According to Assistant Minister of Finance Yitzchak Cohen, the law is equal in its treatment of societal sectors in that it also provides for university students, allotting them 120,000 shekels a year from a special fund, while apportioning 100,000 shekels for Torah students, 10,000 of whom will receive the aid stipulated by the law.

The law was attacked by representatives of Meretz and Yesh Atid, who also attacked the haredi factions that had called for its adoption.

Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman, however, defended the law, noting that past offers had been even more generous to haredim: "When [Tzipi] Livni was negotiating with us to try to form a government, she offered to give us more than you are," he noted.

MK Moshe Gafni, in turn, accused the opposition parties of hypocrisy, claiming that they only protest when it comes to helping haredim: "any time some Torah student needs help, you attack, while I, as representative of the Financial Committee, try to help all," he said.