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Minister Bennett Responds on IGY Issue

Education Minister Naftali Bennett replied in the Knesset to an interrogation by MKs Yael German and Michal Rozin, about the budget cuts for Gay Youth Organization, despite his promise to double the budget.

“Following my meeting with LGBT youth organization I increased the budget policy of youth organizations in Israel from 19 million to 35 million,” said Minister Bennett. “Due to the addition of new organizations and the increase in the number of students in the existing organizations, the money was divided between more organizations so that eventually IGY received less money, even though I fulfilled my side. ”

Bennett later explained that he aims to correct the situation that was created, either by finding a tactical solution or by a change that would lead to a permanent solution over time. Bennett went on to explain that although he can’t transfer money directly to IGY, but only through the regulations of Israel’s youth organizations, which led to this situation in the first place, he said that he has instructed his office to amend a regulation that will allow it.”

“In recent days we gave the organization three different tactical proposals to resolve the current situation. They still have not replied to any of them. At the same time we’re working to fix a separate budget policy for LGBT organizations.”

Chairpersons of the Knesset’s LGBT caucus, MKs Yael German (Yesh Atid) and Michal Rozin (Meretz), submitted the urgent query over the weekend to Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home) asking him to explain why the budgets for Gay Youth Organization were cut despite his promise. The query was received and transferred to the Knesset secretariat on Monday, and Minister Bennett was asked to answer the query on Wednesday during the plenary discussions.

“We are happy about the declaration of the Minister in the plenum and hope that this time IGY will be offered an applicable, relevant and immediate solution to this crisis”, co-CEO Mandy Michaeli told Israeli website WDG. “As for the future of IGY under the Ministry of Education program – we will continue to make the most of the process and its realization along with other community organizations involved.”

On Thursday MK German came to Gan Meir park to express support for the LGBT youth organization. “I am here to support IGY, a life-saving organization,” said German at the rally. “The budget cuts of Israel Gay Youth cannot pass in silence. I invite the Minister of Education Naftali Bennett to meet with these wonderful teenage boys and girls, to get to know them and make sure that the budget for activities goes not only to Tel Aviv, but also to Dimona and Kiryat Shmona.”