Lapid shaking hands with Deri at Knesset 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Finance Minister Yair Lapid accused Shas leader Arye Deri on Tuesday of lying
about why budget cuts for haredi schools were removed from the terms of the
2013-2014 state budget.
According to Lapid, the proposed budget cuts to
haredi schools were temporarily suspended because the Attorney General informed
the Treasury that it was illegal to defund the schools without having an
alternative system in place.
Education Minister Shai Piron intends to
establish a state-run haredi education system during the course of the next
The cuts to haredi schools were proposed for any school
not teaching state core curriculum subjects to its pupils, which most haredi
schools do not.
The Shas school system, Ma’ayan Hahinuch Hatorani is in
theory supposed to teach the core curriculum but there is very little inspection
of the network and it is believed that very little secular studies are in fact
In a statement that Lapid posted on his Facebook page, the Yesh
Atid leader said that his party had informed Deri as a courtesy.
Monday night, Deri’s office issued a statement saying that he, Lapid and
Minister for Education Shai Piron had come to an agreement to abandon the
proposed budget cuts.
So Lapid took to his Facebook page to deny the Shas
“Deri [then] sold to the press the idea that we had
capitulated to him and decided to cancel the cuts,” Lapid wrote.
truth is, I don’t understand him. Not only was this an obvious lie, but
he’s also now prevented the possibility that we will ever try and work together
with him on issues important to his community.”
The finance minister also
promised that the proposed budget cuts would be implemented in six months time
when a state-schools system for haredi children will be
Deri’s office refused to respond to the accusation.
statement issued by Shai Piron’s office earlier Monday evening, said that in a
conversation between the education minister and Deri it was agreed to postpone
cutting the budget of the Ma’ayan Hahinuch Hatorani and the Independent
Education system [of the hassidic community].
Piron’s office said a
decision on the matter would be discussed after the state-run haredi education
system is in place.
The statement said that Piron would introduce
comprehensive legislation for the mandatory teaching of the core curriculum
subjects within six months.