Haaretz journalist Nehemia Shtrasler on Tuesday morning attacked the haredi sector, expressing support for Blue and White's proposal for a unity government without the haredi and religious parties.
In an opinion article, titled "Without the haredim and the crazies," Shtrasler claimed that haredim are "extortionists" who "extort enormous sums from the leading parties in order to fund their yeshivas. They turn their children into parasites who live off the public."
Shtrasler admitted that Blue and White's campaign was copied from Yisrael Beytenu's, but expressed his support for Blue and White.
"This is the appropriate model," he wrote. "The deathly illness of Israel's government is that the minority rules the majority."
Attacking Yamina, he wrote: "Every time that Labor or Likud won the majority of the votes, the ones running the government were the extremist minorities. The settlers (once upon a time Mafdal, then the Jewish Home, and now Yamina) decided the priorities. It started with Gush Emunim, which forced the government to recognize settlements in Samaria, in order to prevent a political agreement which would require a retreat. It continued with the pressures placed on the government to annex all of the settlements and to turn Israel into an apartheid state which lives by its sword while endangering the entire Third Temple."
Regarding the haredim, Shtrasler wrote: "They extort enormous sums from the leading party in order to fund their yeshivas, kollels (yeshivas for married students), and married yeshiva students, and the result is that secular people pay high taxes. The haredim are not willing to allow their children to learn the core curriculum or serve in the army, and so they turn them into parasites which live off the public purse and are unable to support themselves."
In fact, haredim are 50% less likely to be hired than their secular counterparts - even when their qualifications are identical.
Calling to completely upend the status quo, Shtrasler added that the haredim "even use their power to force their lifestyle on the majority, not allowing public transportation on Shabbat (Sabbath) and not allowing supermarkets to open on Shabbat, not allowing civil marriage, and discriminating against women."