Netanyahu Pulling Yeshiva Funding to Pay for Flu Shots, Military


netanyahu1Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will need all of his leadership prowess to muster the needed support for an NIS 2 billion budget cut which, if approved, will slash deeply into the supplement funding promised to the chareidi parties under the coalition agreement. As the bill stands, the move will trim NIS 300 million off of additional funding promised for yeshivos, and an additional NIS 100 million promised to Shas, United Torah Judaism and Habayit Hayehudi.Netanyahu’s government coalition agreements made many budget-related promises to woo coalition members, including an additional NIS 750 million to finance yeshivos. The new proposal aims to erase NIS 750 million from various programs, or 20% of the funding negotiated under the various coalition agreements. The bill means that the chareidi parties stand to lose a substantial portion of the funding they were able to wrangle through government coalition negotiations. Although the Finance Ministry’s bill proposes to cut just half of the promised budgeting immediately and the balance in 2011, the fact is not likely to sweeten the bitter pill that the chareidi Orthodox parties will be asked to swallow. A difficult struggle for approval of the budget is in the offing for Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz as a result.

Netanyahu seems likely to throw his entire weight behind efforts to persuade coalition members to agree to the budget cut. Objections of UTJ could be softened somewhat by the fact that the Health Ministry is one of the main beneficiaries of the budget. UTJ chairman Yaakov Litzman holds the deputy Health Minister position. Under the proposed plan, the ministry will receive additional budgeting of up to NIS 500 million to make preparations for a more serious outbreak of swine flu.

Netanyahu will also have to explain the necessity of reallocating NIS 1.5 billion to the defense budget to meet unpublicized needs and aims. Government sources hinted that the budgeting is required to meet very urgent defense needs for which coalition members will find it difficult to refuse budgeting.

Netanyahu has in fact altered the basic budget priorities for 2009- 2010 in favor of defense needs, but these cannot be financed without horizontal cuts to ministry budgets and coalition negotiated funding.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. This is just one more example of Netanyahu’s lack of Emunah in Hashem. If anything, it’s the other way around. Meaning, the reason why there is such a problem with the flu to begin with is Davka BECAUSE of a lack of supporting Torah, besides the fact that these flu shots may in fact be hazardous, but that is besides the point. Also, it is specifically Torah learning that ultimately makes the difference in fighting our enemies. Having a military is just a means of fighting our enemies without relying on miracles, the same way that Dovid HaMelech maintained a military despite his nightly Torah study session. I guess someone will have to suggest to Netanyahu to take a course in Emunah 101; and if not bribed by further politics, power, or money, maybe he will start doing a little Teshuva.

  2. If anything, it’s the other way around. Meaning, the reason why there is such a problem with the flu to begin with is Davka BECAUSE of a lack of supporting Torah

    What are you? A navi? How could you possibly know?

  3. These are real shaylas that a Jewish government has to make. If resources are limited where does the dollar go? to health services? food? torah learning? housing? military? These are difficult questions to handle. Take some shekels from Hebrew University which educates about 30% or more Arabs.