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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Rabbi Amsalem’

Lies My Pollsters Told Me

Friday, February 1st, 2013

Th defeat of the pollsters in last week’s election should teach us a lesson. Once again it became clear that the public, which treats the election surveys like oracles, becomes addicted to what is merely a media gimmick, and falls prey to fantasy. Those who said this election would turn out to be the pollsters Yom Kippur were right. No one has been able to predict Yair Lapid’s stunning soaring to 19 seats; and no one was able to predict that the Likud— heaven forfend —would sink so low, to land only one seat above Yair Lapid. A true humiliation versus an incredible achievement.

In hindsight it appears that the surveys are a kind of superstition. An industry of illusions. Here’s one amazing example: On January 10, 12 days before the elections, on the days when the voters are solidifying their choices, Reshet Bet radio, in a show hosted by Ayala Chason, offered the survey findings of one Yossi Sarid (not the former Meretz MK). Sarid predicted the Likud-Beitenu would get between 34-35 seats, Yair Lapid 9, Meretz 4, Shas 9 and Power for Israel 2. All these predictions have turned out false. But the truly astonishing prediction of this “reliable” survey was that the list of “Ko’ach L’hashpia” (Power to Influence)—heralded by maverick Yemenite rabbi Amnon Yitzhak—would collect 4 seats. A minimum of 4, Saris claimed.

The pollster explained his delusional prediction, saying: “I know things that in a small-sample survey it’s very hard to detect. That’s one of the reasons I’m using very large samples, especially two weeks before the elections. I identify, as of this moment, four seats. And I won’t be surprised if it will be even more, in the end.”

Needless to say, they didn’t get 4 seats, and not even one measly seat. The party that promised “a loaf of bread for one shekel” burned 28,048 votes, which comprised 0.74% of the overall number of legitimate votes cast. This was a wild contrast to the arrogant announcement Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak had made in his Rosh Ha’ayin appearance, when he said: “I’m hoping for 18 seats; my following is ironclad.”

(The limitation on a list participating in the elections is that it must pass the qualifying threshold, which is currently 1.5% of the votes, or the equivalent of 2 Knesset seats.)

Along with those lost votes, there went 66,840 votes received by Power for Israel (which was promised by the pollsters between 2-6 seats, and its leaders promised at a press conference on November 13, 2012: “We’ll get more than 3 seats.”), and another 45,691 which were awarded to Am Shalem (Rabbi Amsalem’s list that was also prophesied an astonishing success—Rabbi Amsalem himself promised the financial website The Marker: “We’ll get more than 4 seats). And thousand more precious votes were wasted on esoteric lists like Breslav, Moreshet Avot, and other charlatans.

Once again it turned out that the Seker is a Sheker (literally – the survey is a lie), and that flattering surveys gave candidates a skewed view of reality. As a result, a myriad votes cast by Torah observant Jews were scattered and ended up supporting parties like Meretz and Hadash, Haneen Zuabi and Ahmad Tibi – and for that the pollsters should repent.

Let’s learn from this lesson to stop relying on surveys, once and for all – stop the addiction to this lie.

Maverick Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak Gets 4 Seats in New Poll

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

You may know Rabbi Amnon Yitzhak from his feisty appearances on You Tube before packed halls—and occasionally packed stadiums—in Israel and the U.S., dazzling his audiences into taking on a life of adherence to the commandments. But the Haredi Rabbi who prefers his ancestral Yemenite garb to the common Haredi attire, who has launched a Knesset list, “Power to Influence” to mixed reactions ranging from calling him delusional to accusing him of defying rabbinic authorities, is starting to make his mark in Israel’s election campaign.

A poll published Thursday by Reshet Bet of the Israel Broadcasting Authority, conducted by the Sarid Institute with a sample of 1000—double the accepted sample size—awarded Rabbi Yitzhak 4 seats in the next Knesset.

Both Rabbi Yitzhak and another Haredi Maverick, Rabbi Haim (Emile) Amsalem, are grabbing their votes from the largest Haredi party – Shas. But a third Haredi party, Torah Judaism, which has been polling at 6 seats for more than a month, has now increased to 7, also most likely from Shas.

The Sephardi Haredi party Shas, who had reached as many as 12 seats, are down to 9 in this survey.

Altogether, the right-wing parties’ combined force has increased to 71, while the left, including Arabs, sank to 49.

Part of the voter desertion on the left stems from the failure of Labor, Lapid and Livni to form a block this week. Of the three, Tzipi Livni is viewed by most leftist voters as responsible for the collapse of those talks.

Here are today’s results:

Likud-Beitenu – 34

Labor – 17

Jewish Home – 14

Yair Lapid – 9

Shas – 9

Tzipi Livni – 7

Torah Judaism – 7

Meretz – 4

Hadash – 4

Power to Influence – 4

Ra’am Ta’al – 3

Balad – 3.

If you add up these figures, you’ll get only 115 seats (out of 120). Yossi Sarid, whose institute conducted the survey, told the Jewish Press that the missing 5 seats are divided among Kadima (between 2 and 3), Power to Israel (2-3) and Rabbi Amsalem (1-2). Israel’s blocking percentage rule only awards seats to parties who have earned from two seats and up, and since all three small parties may not cross that baseline, Reshet Bet preferred to leave them out of their presentation.

The poll has a 3.1% margin of error.

Shas MK: All Israelis Should Serve Their Country

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Shas MK Rabbi Chaim Amsalem, writing in a column for the Jerusalem Post, lambasted UTJ MK Moshe Gafni for his “cynical declaration” that the ultra-Orthodox should not serve in the IDF.

Amsalem wrote that he was “confused and angered” by Gafni’s statements earlier in the week because they had “no basis in Jewish law or tradition, or in basic human ethics . . . they were nothing more than a continuation of extremist haredi policies and politics.”

Amsalem said that “Jewish tradition is replete with teachings regarding the responsibility we have toward one another,” and cited the Bible portion where Moses rebuked the tribes of Reuven and Gad for attempting to shirk combat in order to settle on the eastern side of the Jordan River.

Amsalem added: “I plan to continue encouraging haredim to serve in the IDF while working together with the army leadership to make sure all their needs are met.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shas-mk-all-israelis-should-serve-their-country/2012/01/18/

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