Proposal: Cut Their Funding To Stop Peleg Protests

The Yisrael Beitenu party headed by Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman is sponsoring a bill that would permit the senior minister to shut down funding for Peleg-affiliated yeshivos as well as the Bnei David Mechina located in Yishuv Eli. Lieberman has had issue with one of the leaders of Bnei David, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein, who spoke out against mixed-gender units and toeiva in the IDF.

According to the report aired on Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), in the shadow of the Jerusalem-based demonstrations by the Peleg faction last week, following the arrest of the deserters, Yisrael Beitenu intends to submit a bill that would deny funding to Torah institutions that incite soldiers and call for draft dodging.

The Minister of Finance, in consultation with the Minister of Justice and the Minister of Education, may decide that a Torah institution will not be considered a public institution in the matter of receiving support under the budget section if the head of that institution, which is also a religious-spiritual authority, did one of the following:

1. Knowingly released a call to avoid military service

2. Knowingly released a public call to incite, persecute, humiliate, act hostilely towards or use violence against a tzibur or segment of the population.

It is expected that chareidi parties will oppose the legislation, which they term “dangerous” but they wonder why the emphasis is on “religious institutions” rather than on academic institutions.

At the end of the Knesset’s summer recess, the Knesset approved, with the support of Yisrael Beitenu, the regulations of the draft law – not yet overturned by the High Court of Justice, which did not include the regulation that the defense minister could deprive a budget of meetings calling for refusal.


(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

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