Members of Blue and White have slammed the party’s number two, Yair Lapid, for comments he made in recent days on the financial status of avreichim. The comments by Lapid – that avreichim were getting nearly NIS 8,000 a month for learning – will make it impossible for the party to work with chareidi MKs, the critics said.
Maariv quoted Blue and White sources as saying that with an attitude like Lapid’s, it would be impossible for the party to rise to national leadership. “We one day would like to form a government ourselves, and for that to happen we would need the support of the chareidi public,” the sources said. “During the election, we began building communication channels with them. We would have given them anything they wanted to join our government, had the president chosen us to form the government, and Lapid knows this. Now he is complicating our relationship with the chareidim – and for what?”
In his comments, Lapid said that yeshivah students were getting undeserved benefits. “If your name is Moshe and you are an eighty- year-old grandfather named Moshe who fought in all Israel’s wars, you would get a pension of NIS 4,232. If your name is Moshe and you are a 19-year-old yeshivah student who cheated out of IDF service, you would get NIS 7,600 from the state.”
Lapid made the comments in response to reports that the Likud had worked out an arrangement between chareidi parties Shas and United Torah Judaism and the Yisrael Beytenu party on a new draft law.
United Right List MK Betzalel Smotrich responded by saying that “Lapid has chosen to pick a fight with those who study Torah. His comments about their earning NIS 7,800 a month is a terrible lie, a made-up number picked out of thin air. We Jews have suffered enough from defamation connected to money. Lapid, you must apologize,” he added.