UTJ slams High Court ‘s interim order cutting off yeshiva stipends for some students

Sam Sokol is the Times of Israel's political correspondent. He was previously a reporter for the Jerusalem Post, Jewish Telegraphic Agency and Haaretz. He is the author of "Putin’s Hybrid War and the Jews"

Israel’s ultra-Orthodox party United Torah Judaism slams the High Court of Justice’s interim order cutting off yeshiva stipends starting on April 1, describing it as a war on the Torah.

In a statement, the United Torah Judaism party accuses the judicial system of declaring “an all-out struggle” against Torah study.

“How can an interim order be issued in an hour, when an ordinary person can wait years for a ruling,” the party asks, promising to “take care of Torah students and Torah education.”

“The order given by the judges of the High Court of Justice, whose purpose is to seriously harm the Torah and Jewish people, here in the Land of Israel – the state of the Jewish people – is a sign of disgrace and contempt,” argues UTJ chairman Yitzhak Goldknopf.

“The State of Israel arose to be a home for the Jewish people whose Torah is a Torah of truth… Without the Torah, we have no right to exist,” he says. “We will fight in every way for the right of every Jew to learn Torah and we will not compromise on that.”

Senior UTJ lawmaker Meir Porush likewise condemns the court, accusing it of taking the “unprecedented step of imposing economic sanctions against those who chose to study the Holy Torah.”

“This is a serious violation of our right to exist in the Land of Israel – the highest judicial authority of the State of Israel seeks to throw Torah scholars into prison,” he declares. “We will not put up with this situation and will fight to cancel the decision immediately, along with the effort to quickly regulate the status of yeshiva members so that they can observe the Torah without interruption.”

Speaking with The Times of Israel, UTJ MK Moshe Roth says that if yeshiva students are drafted, the party “will leave the coalition.”

“Although,” he adds, “the decision lies with the council of Torah elders,” which sets policy for the party.

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