web analytics
April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



‘You Need 150 Salaries To Buy An Apartment – That’s Outrageous’: An Interview With Eyal Gabbai, Former Director-General of Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office

Eyal Gabbai

Eyal Gabbai

Share Button

You were quoted in the media last year as stating that haredim in Israel must join the army and labor force. Why do you feel so strongly about this?

When Menachem Begin allowed the vast majority of haredim to go to yeshiva instead of the army, they were less than five percent of the population. Today, they are growing and heading toward becoming 21 percent of the population by 2049. They do not serve in the army or participate in the economy. They rely heavily on social payments but do not provide resources in terms of taxes. So they just become a bigger and bigger burden on the overall Israeli economy.

I don’t think this situation is sustainable. Israel’s economy will suffer severely and the haredim will suffer even more economically than they are currently suffering. Their leaders are starting to understand this.

You headed an inter-ministerial committee last year that suggested capping support for young haredim studying in yeshivos at five years. What was the thinking behind this proposal, which the government subsequently adopted?

The number five came from the number of years it takes to obtain a BA and MA in Israel. We said, “Okay, the government supports students in universities for five years – this is the most – so we’re ready to discuss the same five-year mark in terms of haredim and yeshivos.”

Are there any exceptions for yeshiva students showing exceptional promise?

No. We said there might be a small group that will continue in yeshiva, but the leaders of the rabbinical world are not able, or willing, to test or rank yeshiva bachurim.

You talk of haredim joining the army in greater numbers. But if the government desires this development, shouldn’t it be more sensitive to their needs? Why, for example, were Orthodox soldiers recently forced to attend an army ceremony with a woman singing?

I think you’re right. We need to cater to their needs. On the other hand, the haredim cannot fully enforce their priorities and culture over the overall population and army. It costs money, and resources are needed.

Solutions like separate battalions, Nachal Haredi, are very important, and I think both the army and the haredim have found a way to work together. Unfortunately, though, it’s only being done in small numbers because they are not forced to leave the yeshivos.

You stepped down as director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office in September. What are you doing now?

According to Israeli law, I am not allowed to work for Israeli companies for one year, so I’m actually waiting to finish that year. After that I’ll probably move to some kind of managing position in one of the bigger Israeli companies. Or, as I’ve done in the past, I’ll be involved in investing in the Israeli economy – probably with foreign investors because I think it’s important to bring more foreign investors to Israel. Currently, Israel offers higher rates of return than most of the western world. This is an opportunity that I think is very lucrative.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “‘You Need 150 Salaries To Buy An Apartment – That’s Outrageous’: An Interview With Eyal Gabbai, Former Director-General of Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
FBI Wanted poster for Osama bin Laden
Pakistan Library Renamed to Honor bin Laden
Latest Indepth Stories
matza

If itis a mitzva to eat matza all Pesach, then why is there no berakha attached to it?

Masked Palestinian Authority Arabs hurl blocks at Israel Police during and after "worship" at Temple Mount mosque. (archive photo)

When we are united with unconditional love, no stone will be raised against us by our enemies.

Haredim riot after draft-dodger is arrested.

The reporter simply reports the news, but it is greater to be inspired to better the situation.

Bitton-041814

The Big Bang theory marked the scientific community’s first sense of the universe having a beginning.

Freeing convicted murderers returns the status of Jewish existence to something less than sanctified.

“The bigger they are the harder they fall” describes what God had in mind for Olmert.

We, soldiers of the IDF, who stand guard over the people and the land, fulfill the hopes of the millions of Jewish people across the generations who sought freedom.

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

More Articles from Jewish Press Staff

Chimpanzees and Orangutans eat Matza, unleavened bread traditionally eaten during the Passover holiday, at the Ramat Gan Safari on Thursday, April 17, 2014. I hope they can digest it. On Passover no leavened bread (Chametz) is allowed in Jewish possession, and that includes food we feed our animals.

The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!

Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.

Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/you-need-150-salaries-to-buy-an-apartment-thats-outrageous-an-interview-with-eyal-gabbai-former-director-general-of-israels-prime-ministers-off/2012/03/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: