It appears that MK Avigdor Lieberman and his Yisrael Beitenu party have not yet exhausted their anti-chareidi agenda, now targeting their anti-religious venom at the elderly chareidi community, which receive senior citizens pensions.
On Thursday, Yisrael Beitenu MK Alex Kushnir addressed the party video released earlier and told Galei Tzahal (Army Radio) that he stands by what he said, that “We will be the final protection for the secular residents in this country”.
Kushnir stresses that he stands by every word he said, and that in Israel, 120,000 citizens living on a pension, and “these people are outside the closed chareidi envelope of protection”.
Yisrael Beitenu officials are starting to claim that chareidi senior citizens are not entitled to the Bituach Leumi pensions they are receiving. “The entitlement and responsibilities must be the same for everyone. Everything must be equal for all. An 18-year-old enlists in the IDF and his parents are required to finance his studies. An 18-year-old chareidi goes to study in yeshiva until the age of 67 and then he receives his senior citizens pension despite never having worked in his life.
Kushnir is quoted telling BeChadrei Chareidim that citizens of Israel must receive equal rights as well as sharing in equal responsibilities. He feels all senior citizens should receive a pension but together with this, additions to one’s pension is a component of having worked to earn it.
Each Israeli receives a 2% add on to one’s senior citizen’s pension for each year worked. Therefore, he feels there is no justification for the additional points for one whose spent one’s life in yeshiva, and not in the workplace. Kushnir concludes “zero years working should mean zero additional funding for a pension”.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)