JERUSALEM (JTA) — Thousands of Israeli university students gathered in Jerusalem to protest a bill that would provide stipends to yeshiva students.
Up to 10,000 students from universities around the country arrived by chartered buses to the capital Monday evening for the protest march from the prime minister’s official residence to Zion Square.
The protesters carried signs reading "We’re not suckers" and "Haredim – go to work," and chanting slogans such as "Students are worth more" and "We’re hungry for bread too."
The demonstration protested Knesset approval of the first reading of the 2011-2012 state budget, which includes stipends for married full-time yeshiva students.
The amendment to the budget granting the stipends, proposed by Knesset Finance Committee chairman Moshe Gafni of the United Torah Judaism party, comes after an Israeli Supreme Court ruling in June that paying stipends to yeshiva students and not to university students constitutes discrimination.