Haim Bibas: 'Fund youth movements, or we'll shut down everything on September 1'

Federation of Local Authorities chairman warns: 'If budget for youth movements isn't passed, we'll put a stop to everything.'

Hezki Baruch ,

Bnei Akiva youth movement (illustrative)
Bnei Akiva youth movement (illustrative)
Hezki Baruch

Federation of Local Authorities in Israel Chairman Haim Bibas warned that if the budget for youth movements is not provided, the Federation will "stop everything on September 1."

Bibas made the statement at a meeting of the Knesset's Education Committee, which focused on the issue of freezing youth movements' and youth organizations' activities over the summer due to the coronavirus outbreak, as well as on the budget which has not yet been transferred from the Education Ministry to the Higher and Supplemental Education Committee.

According to reports, the budgets in question would be 20 million shekels ($5,809,968) for youth movements, and another 20 million for youth organizations.

Committee Chairman MK Ram Shefa (Blue and White) said, "Youths' and children's summers are facing a catastrophe. This issue crosses party lines and I am fighting so that the funds will be transferred and activities can resume."

"If the problem with the youth movements and youth organizations is not solved, on September 1 we will put a stop to everything," Bibas said.

Hagai Gross, who heads the Social and Youth Administration at the Ministry for Higher and Supplemental Education, said, "Ending informal educational activities is unacceptable. The frustration [only] grows at the reports that today there is a discussion focusing on whether to open swimming pools and gyms, when all activity in supervised youth organizations and movements is according to Health Ministry guidelines."

"The damage caused by ending these activities is also damage for the future, since seminars to train future youth movement counselors are also canceled. I call for pressure on decision-makers, and to allow the opening [of activities]."