haredi men black hats 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
A comment made by Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy labeling haredim as
“parasites” elicited angry denouncements from the ultra-Orthodox political
leadership on Wednesday.
Speaking to haredi radio station Kol Barama on
Wednesday morning, Levy said that the ultra-Orthodox community had to take on
the country’s financial burdens and integrate into the labor force.
not possible to be parasites on the Israeli public any longer,” he
Challenged by radio host Motti Lavie for using the
controversial expression, Levy apologized but continued to insist on the
importance of integrating the haredi community into the job market.
apologize for the word, I’m just saying that it’s not possible to live on the
shoulders of the Israeli taxpayer, of those who pay taxes, those who go to the
army, those who serve the state.
“You are citizens with equal rights, so
come be equal in obligations too,” Levy continued.
Shas co-chairman MK
Eli Yishai said that such language in other parts of the world would be called
“It worries me that in Israel in 2013 things are being said
like in Germany in 1942,” the former interior minister wrote on his Facebook
page. “If similar statements to what the deputy minister said were made in other
countries such as by a European member of parliament about the Jewish community
there would be total outrage, and justifiably so,” he
“Unfortunately, the behavior of the finance minister and Yesh
Atid leader gives legitimacy and encourages the continued injury to the haredi
community,” he added in reference to comments made by Yair Lapid in Knesset on
Levy later apologized again from the Knesset plenum, saying again
that he should not have used the word and apologizing to anyone who was