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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776
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The Great Fix: Lapid and the Haredim Pushing Each Other’s Agenda


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A smattering of Haredi yeshiva students standing outside the IDF Recruitment Office in Jerusalem. The mass demonstration organized for today is part of a giant fix, arranged between the anti-Haredi Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the Haredi establishment.

A smattering of Haredi yeshiva students standing outside the IDF Recruitment Office in Jerusalem. The mass demonstration organized for today is part of a giant fix, arranged between the anti-Haredi Finance Minister Yair Lapid and the Haredi establishment.
Photo Credit: Flash90



The extremist faction’s magazine Peles called on haredim to “Gather and defend our souls.” The Shas publication Yom L’yom rebuked the new law as “Eternal disgrace.” The world is collapsing, the sun was put out in the middle of the day.

But it’s all just talk. In reality, everybody is happy. And both sides are interested, for electoral and factional reasons, in fanning the flames.

Haredi journalist and blogger Chaim Shaulzon has written: “We must cry out, protest and warn, and show how displeased we are. If, God forbid, we’ll say the truth, they’d go back to committee and do everything in their power so we should pay the price. The other side feels it got what it wanted and is calm. That’s the best situation for all of us.

“As to the law itself,” Shaulzon notes, “it is excellent for Haredim, there’ll be no problem to cover the quotas. If we understand that they agreed to include everybody in the count of yeshiva students, including the National Religious, then it means we’ve solved all our problems. Because the National Religious do serve in the army, and there are a few Haredim who do as well, so there’ll be no problem at all.

“Our situation has even been improved,” he concludes. “The yeshiva budgets have been increased, because they live up to the quotas, and the army will organize for a more Tzniusdik (modest) environment. Many good changes will take place and none of the yeshivas or kolels will be damaged at all.”

And that, folks, is the fix.

Menachem Rahat

About the Author: Born in Tel Aviv in 1943. Graduated Bar Ilan University (Political Science and History) and Haifa University (Political Science). Chaired the Maariv political desk for 24 years. Married with children and grandchildren. Living in Raanana.


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