The Yesh Atid party has refused demands to restore funding for foreign students in all Israeli yeshivos, instead imposing a new condition: a mandatory curriculum of Zionist studies.
“We must state that as long as the curriculum is not accepted, we cannot authorize the transfer of funds,” the party said on Tuesday, referring to chareidi yeshivos.
It was also stipulated that to qualify for funding, yeshivah students must visit IDF bases and attend various seminars on the state and the military.
Minister of Education Shai Piron (Yesh Atid) and MK Elazar Stern (Movement) are charged with formulating the program subject to the approval of Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Earlier in the day, MK Nisan Slomiansky (Jewish Home), who heads the Knesset’s Finance Committee, announced that the 50-million-shekel cut would be restored for all the yeshivos.
However, that statement did not take Lapid’s conditions into account. In fact, word came from his office that no decision had been made yet.
The new conditions were clearly calculated to exclude chareidi yeshivos from government funding for foreign students, since they will not consent to allow Yesh Atid to dictate their studies program.
Last week, when Lapid offered to restore the funding for the hesder yeshivos but not chareidi yeshivos, Slomiansky would not go along, so the finance minister said he would study the matter further.
On Tuesday, he gave his answer.
It appeared that Jewish Home, despite its reservations, will in the end acquiesce to Lapid’s decision.