The Bottom Line Support the Productive Backbone

For some time we have known there is no limit to the maleficence of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Shas spiritual leader, and that his malicious tongue has no restraints.

For some time we have known there is no limit to the maleficence of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the Shas spiritual leader, and that his malicious tongue has no restraints.

In a sermon for the close of Rosh Hashannah he called doctors who preform the sacred job of finding defects in fetuses "ignorant animals." Ghosts, he called them - "killers of souls."

After all he is an expert on medicine. Without a stethoscope or an ultra-sound he can proclaim: "I promised the mother there was nothing wrong with the fetus. I promised to bless her and swore that the child would be born 100 percent normal."

Social workers look no better to the rabbi, who said: "There are liberal social workers, heathens who have no faith or religion. They authorize abortions for women who wish to terminate their pregnancy because of concerns of making a living. They execute the child. Do these mothers have a heart?"

Yosef's comments do not come out of the blue. They follow on Labor and Social Affairs minister Shlomo Benizri's initiative to resume the activities of the National Demography Council, which last week convened after a hiatus of five years.

Benizri instructed the council to investigate factors that have a negative impact on the growth of the "Jewish minority" in Israel - and when he said Jewish minority, he meant improving the economic welfare of potential Shas voters. That's parents with five or more children.

As far as Yosef and Benizri are concerned it doesn't at all matter whether a child with a congenital defect is born to a large family that can hardly manage to provide a decent living for its existing children.

It doesn't at all matter if the child is born to a broken family, whose parents are sick, and who already have ten children. This is because the womb is a demographic political weapon of Shas.

Who, if not they, know that a child born into such a family will not get a proper education and minimal means. He will turn to El Ha'Maayan and his family will be dependent on Shas.

If the government wishes to strengthen the state it should encourage young secular couples, both Jewish and Arab, who have just two children. These are couples who educate their children to be useful citizens that work for a living.

They are the ones who keep the country afloat, and whose taxes fund Yosef and Benizri's dodgers. But because taxes are high and making a living is hard, these couples choose to have just two children.

Therefore, instead of increasing grants, benefits and allocations to large families with five children or more, the pyramid should be turned upside down and larger maternity grants, child benefits, and subsidized kindergartens should be granted only for the first four children - and conditioned on one parent working.

That way, the burden on the middle classes will be reduced slightly. That way, it is the productive backbone of Israeli society that will grow in strength and in numbers.