"First they came for the ultra-orthodox Jew..."Submitted by Bob-45 on Thu, 04/25/2013 - 21:07
Culture war in Israel targets ultra-Orthodox Jews
By DANIEL ESTRIN
JERUSALEM (AP) -- A cultural war has erupted between Israel's rising political star and his ultra-Orthodox rivals.
Newly minted Finance Minister Yair Lapid, hugely popular for opposing the long-standing preferential treatment enjoyed by the religious minority, is moving swiftly to slash state handouts to large families, compel lifelong seminary students to work and join the army, and remove funding for schools that don't teach math, science and English.
The religious - labeled "parasites" by one Lapid emissary this week - are crying foul. But they appear helpless, at least in the short run, to stop Lapid from pressing his agenda.