shas letter with signatures 370.
(photo credit: Courtesy of Shas)
The Bayit Yehudi party declined overtures from haredi MKs Thursday, after
receiving a letter offering to make a deal on yeshiva funding, but several
lawmakers in the party threatened to vote against the budget if money for Torah
study is not reinstated.
“With the votes on the 2013- 2014 budget and
Economic Arrangements Bill growing nearer, we are appealing to you to bring back
what was proposed to be cut in the yeshiva budget and that of Torah education
institutions,” reads a letter signed by all 18 Shas and United Torah Judaism
lawmakers and dated July 1.
The letter continues with an offer to not
enter the coalition if the Bayit Yehudi is thrown out because it voted against
yeshiva budget cuts.
Bayit Yehudi did not respond to Shas and UTJ, but a
senior party source told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that the offer is not under
“The state budget and concern for the world of Torah are
not just topics for [Shas leader] Arye Deri’s gimmicks,” the source said. “On
the other hand, we find it encouraging that this time they didn’t call us ‘home
of goyim [gentiles],’” he quipped, referring to a statement by Shas spiritual
leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef about Bayit Yehudi earlier this year.
Yehudi MK Orit Struck voiced a different opinion, saying “we are committed to
the world of Torah and will not be able to vote for a budget that deals a fatal
blow to the yeshivas.”
Motti Yogev, also of Bayit Yehudi, added that
“Torah is the founding value of the Jewish People. We cannot vote for a budget
that takes away over 52 percent of funding from Torah institutes.
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percent in a year is legitimate,” he said. “More than that isn’t.”
Bayit Yehudi MKs siding with Struck and Yogev are Yoni Chetboun and Zevulun
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