'A high school dropout can't be Prime Minister'

Haredi MK pushes bill requiring PM to have college degree. Bill seen as targeting Yair Lapid - who dropped out of high school.

David Rosenberg,

UTJ MK Yaakov Litzman
UTJ MK Yaakov Litzman
Hadas Parush/Flash 90

Former Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) has submitted a bill apparently aimed at preventing former Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid from ever serving as Prime Minister.

According to a report Tuesday by Walla News, Litzman is pushing legislation which would bar any candidate from serving as Prime Minister who did not earn a college degree or serve in an important position in the IDF.

Lapid, whose Yesh Atid party promoted the draft of haredi yeshiva students during the previous Netanyahu government, was portrayed by haredi party campaigners as an existential threat to the haredi community during the 2013 and 2015 elections.

Litzman’s new “Lapid Law” has been submitted as a private bill, rather than a coalition-backed proposal, and thus is unlikely to garner a majority in the Knesset. According to Walla News, the bill has also been criticized for being so narrowly tailored, rendering it “unconstitutional” according to some.

Lapid, 54, dropped out of high school and never earned a high school diploma (bagrut) or equivalent. In 2011, Lapid was accepted into a special Ph.D. program at Bar Ilan University, despite lacking a high school diploma, Bachelor’s Degree or Master’s Degree. After the special program came to light in 2012, Israel’s Council for Higher Education forced its cancellation, ending Lapid’s studies toward his doctorate.

While it is unclear what service in the IDF is defined as “important” under the “Lapid Law”, it appears to target Lapid’s work as an army journalist during his mandatory service. While he was initially drafted into the Armored Corps, Lapid was transferred to the army newspaper, Bamahane, after he suffered an asthma attack.




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