TA mayor: I did not slam haredim

Ron Huldai responds to commotion caused by criticism

Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai on Monday denied having anything against eduction in the haredi community following his fierce criticism of the state funding of private schools.
"I don't have anything against haredi education. I only have a problem with private education."
Huldai told Army Radio. "There is no other democracy in the world where the government funds private schools. If you want to fund a private school, you need to fund it yourself."
He said that in a democracy, the government must provide basic, well-rounded education.
"If you want different or other specific ideas to be taught, you need to fund that project yourself," Huldai said. "This goes for all minorities."
At an education conference on Monday, Huldai leveled criticism at the state funding of such schools, specifically focusing on the haredi private school system.
"Israeli citizens and the government need to open their eyes and realize what is going on before it's too late," Huldai said. "We need to fight this, maybe even revolt in order to ensure that democracy prevails here."
He said Israel was supporting entire communities of "aloof and ignorant people, who are growing at an alarming rate, and draining our social and economic strength."
Shas accuses Huldai of 'racism'
Shas responded harshly to the mayor's words earlier Monday. An official response issued by Interior Minister Eli Yishai stated, "The racism that Huldai displayed is not surprising. Huldai prefers foreign children to haredi children, and masks his racism with the face of academia."