MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), the head of the Knesset Finance Committee, has expressed his opposition to the growing trend of haredi youths pursuing academic studies.
Earlier this week, Gafni provided the opposing arguments in a meeting at Bar Ilan University titled "Haredim and Israeliness – separating and bringing together."
In a record posted on the website Behadrei Haredim (In Haredi Rooms), Gafni can be seen saying, "I'm against haredim going to universities. I help them, but I have never appeared at a haredi academic college until today. I think any haredi man or woman who goes to these places suffers a spiritual decline"
He added: "I know that I cannot stop it, I know that there is no way to fight it. I'm not there."
Changing topics, MK Gafni also discussed the growing influence of legal advisors. "The country has became a state focused on the law, which is horrible. Everything is being handled by the Attorney General. This is because of the elected officials' weakness – everyone is afraid that he will end up being charged with something. The country is losing its democratic character because it is becoming an absolute dictatorship. The legal advisor to a ministry's opinions have become the halacha that Moses brought down from Sinai, as though they are the only ones who understand morals and conscience."
He continued by speaking about the growing proportion of haredim in society, and claimed that there are many exaggerations on the issue. "They told me 17 years ago, that 'in another 17 years you will be the majority,' but we're not even close to that. The apocalyptic predictions and diagrams are not correct. You can relax, the haredim will remain a minority for many generations."