(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Interior Minister Eli Yishai met on Thursday with representatives of the National Student Union in Jerusalem and discussed the controversy over the stipends for yeshiva students.
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In the meeting, Yishai suggested that students who have a child should be able to benefit from the stipends, just as yeshiva students who have three children. Yishai said that he understands that academic students lead a different lifestyle than those studying at yeshivas.
No other additional criterion were discussed regarding the benefits, and other factors specified in the law, such as the absences of another source of income or the ownership of a vehicle, will remain part of the conditions.
Yishai later met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance
Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) to discuss the
The interior minister has expressed his position on the stipends in the
past in which he has said that he is in favor of maintaining the
equality between yeshiva and academic students. "We
have no objection that [university] students will also receive the
benefit. Anyone who would propose otherwise is behaving in a
discriminatory way," said Yishai. "The entire goal [of the bill] is to
provide support to the tens of thousands of children living below the
poverty lin and to close [social] gaps."Yishai
added, "We do not object that every student who studies should receive
the benefit. Anyone who would say otherwise speaks out of hatred and to