Many Israeli political leaders sent their congratulations to the United States Thursday on its Independence Day. MK Yisrael Eichler of the hareidi-religious Yahadut Hatorah party did the same, and also took the opportunity to seek American help in avoiding cuts to the yeshiva budget for overseas students.
Speaking to U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro, Eichler argued that the proposed 2013-2014 budget, which slashes the budget for yeshivas, would discriminate against American yeshiva students.
“Don’t allow thousands of American yeshiva students to be discriminated against, compared to other students,” Eichler urged.
The government “spends hundreds of millions of dollars on bringing Jewish students from America to [Israeli] universities for various periods of time,” he told Shapiro. The government plans to continue its financial support for overseas university students, while cutting it for yeshiva students, he said.
“The American constitution, and your national heritage, do not tolerate discrimination between Americans of one kind and Americans from another culture,” he argued.
“We’re not asking you to interfere in the matter of the Israeli budget. I am asking you to intervene against discrimination against your citizens who are learning in yeshivas here in Israel, compared to American citizens learning in universities,” Eichler concluded.
Shapiro told Eichler he would look into the matter.