8 Jan. (EUROPA PRESS) –
Around 170 Israeli local council leaders have sent a letter to the government to protest against an initiative to promote ultra-Orthodox Haredi education in the country.
Specifically, the leaders refer to a clause included in the principles of the far-right coalition government headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, which proposes that the councils divert part of their funds to “informal” institutions that impart these strict teachings.
The letter was addressed to Netanyahu, Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich (leader of the far-right Religious Zionist Party and considered one of the ideological mainstays of the new government) and Education Minister Yoav Kisch.
Local leaders denounce that these Haredi institutions “do not teach the full range of secular studies that the law requires” and assure that they have no intention “of benefiting one population above the rest,” according to the letter collected by the ‘Times of Israel’.
“As it is the State that recognizes these institutions, it is up to the State to finance them,” warn the councils that, in addition, understand this maneuver as an attempt to “expropriate” their educational powers.
“We are not going to allow this enormous financial burden to be imposed on us when we are already forced to allocate part of our usual budgets to formal education services,” local leaders stress.