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November 28, 2015 / 16 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘agudat yisrael’

An Autonomous Haredi State: Having Their Cake and Eating It Too

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Haredi publication Hamodia (as reported by The Jewish Press) has called for establishment of their own autonomous zone in Israel. The feel that they have been mistreated.

Here is how the Times of Israel put it:

As the Knesset works on legislation that could see most ultra-Orthodox men required to serve in the IDF or other national service frameworks, and planned budget cuts threaten the community’s already strained economy, Hamodia, the mouthpiece of the ultra-Orthodox Agudat Yisrael party, suggested self-rule was the best answer to unwanted secular intrusion.

Hamodia said:

Autonomy means independent administrative rule for internal matters without sovereign political status, with legal and financial independence and police, but without an army or foreign policy.

I find this approach to be both intriguing and at the same time very self serving. And frankly somewhat humorous. I have always thought that places like Meah Shearim ought to be given what they want – complete independence from the State of Israel. They don’t think that the Jewish people have a right to their own state pre-Moshiach? That’s fine. Give them Meah Shearim and they can give it to which ever non-Jews they choose to live under. I hear that there are some Palestinians that might be interested.

But this is different. Hamodia isn’t talking about only the rejectionist Jews of Meah Shearim. They are talking about all Haredim – including those who have in the past worked with the government.

And they aren’t talking about seceding from Israel. They are talking about living there autonomously. They want to build a society of their own. They claim to have the ability to build their own infrastructure. They will have their own judicial system; their own political system; their own electric companies, roads, water works… and everything else necessary for a society to function independently. They look to Haredi cities likes Bnei Brak and Beitar as their models for success.

Really? Hamodia thinks that a society that does not educate their children in anything but Torah study will enable them to build a society that functions? Where are they going to get people with the expertise to build all of the necessary components of a modern society? The engineers, the doctors, the dentists, the lawyers, the accountants, the urban planners, the police, the judges and the myriad other trained people who will be qualified to do the things that a city needs to function? From Brisk?

But let us grant that they will somehow find a way. Maybe they will change the paradigm a bit to allow some of their students to learn those disciplines so that they can have such a society. (Although I doubt it.)

But here is the problem. They still want army protection. That is the advantage of having autonomy. You can then eat your cake and have it too. They will graciously allow secular and Dati Leumi Israelis to put their lives on the line for them. Isn’t this what the whole debate is about in the first place?!

It does not cease to amaze me how clueless some of these people are. How can they think that this would in any way be acceptable? How will this new autonomous entity share the burden? Maybe they think this is all about money… that their offer to live autonomously means that they will relieve the Israeli taxpayer of the burden of supporting them. I don’t know… that is an enticing concept. But if so, where will they get the money to replace what they receive now? How will this under-educated (aside from Torah knowledge) class with little marketable skills survive?

The only way their sincerity about living autonomously can be tested is if we require them to have their own army. That would be fair. Without it… all this amounts to is formalizing the status quo with respect to sharing the burden. Only they will be doing so in the form of an autonomous state. Why would the government of Israel want to do that? In my view it would be an act of true humanitarian nature to deny this option to them. Because they will surely fail – even if they are granted protection by the IDF.

What about Bnei Brak or Beitar? I doubt they could exist as autonomous states. Don’t they realize that?

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Shas Gonna Shas

Monday, January 7th, 2013

“Haters gonna hate,” the saying goes. Ditto for political parties.

On January 3, Ynet reported about a Shas event held in the Arab Galileevillage of Abu Sanan. Aryeh Deri mentioned feeling at home and told his audience, “You will have someone to turn to and our respect.” Eli Yishai likewise stated, “Inshallah, God willing, we will have our victory party right here.”

This should be as surprising as reading that Meretz members advocate public transportation on Shabbat. Does Shas greasing the rails for Oslo I by abstention ring a bell? How about the coalition Shas formed with Meretz and Labor in 1992 to enable Rabin’s government?

It wasn’t out of the blue that Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff said in 2010, “Any commitment of Shas to Torat HaShem Temima is purely coincidental at best… A vote for Shas is a vote to give back the Kotel” (See 28:45 here.)

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim has commented on Shas and Oslo I: “They allowed it to take place because they did nothing…They did nothing because they were paid off. This is a clear-cut, simple, straightforward case of shochad…” (See 1:19:50 here.)

But the problem isn’t just Shas. Before the establishment of this party, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l likewise stated regarding the Camp David Accords:

What’s most distressing is that the voices that should have been raised in opposition have been   silenced by bribes. Those who have accepted the bribes may protest the money has gone to Yeshivos, etc. However, no money that is stained with Jewish blood can help in the education of    a Jewish child.

These words remain all too timely, as do those of Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d in 1981:

Years of a National Religious Party holding the balance of power in the government and doing    nothing as it supped happily at the tables of money and power. Almost four years of an Agudat Yisrael party, which is quite happy to support Begin in return for money for its institutions and yeshivot.

Specific to Rabbi Kahane’s points, Rabbi Rakeffets remarked on various occasions from 2005 and 2012 about the destruction of Gush Katif, the empowerment of Hamas, and the complicity of Agudat Yisrael:

* “You open up The Jewish Press, Menachem Porush is crying and yelling and shouting…against the disengagement. You phony. You falsifier. You liar. Your own party is sitting in the government and giving them a majority and enabling them to do what they want, and you’re crying in The Jewish Press. And people are so stupid. They read it and follow it and think Torah Mi Sinai. (See 28:55 here.)

* “Every rocket falling in on Israel today—Agudat Yisrael, the Gerrer Rebbe, has a share in it.” (See 8:50 here.)

* “…a Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah that enabled the Israeli government to give back Gush Katif and bring endless tragedy upon the Jewish People…Agudat Yisrael made it possible. I lived it. I saw it. It was tangible. Everyone knows about it…The price we are paying, the price we have paid, and the price we will yet pay for the stupidity of Agudat Yisrael that enabled the Israeli government to go along with Sharon and Olmert. It’s overwhelming.” (See 1:05:35 here.)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/guest-blog/shas-gonna-shas/2013/01/07/

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