Rav Ovadia Yosef’s hat and robes made an appearance at a Shas political rally on Tuesday.
Posts Tagged ‘Shas’
The spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party told party supporters Sunday night that the “HaTikvah” national anthem is “stupid,” reported the Walla! website, which also provided an audio of the rabbi’s remarks.
Rabbi Shlomo Cohen’s aides defended the observation he made when describing a meeting with Shas’ founder and late spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in 1955.
Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim had been appointed Chief Sephardic Rabbi at the time, and Rabbi Cohen said people stood up and started singing HaTikvah at the end of the inaugural ceremony.
Rabbi Cohen told listeners at Netivot that he said at the time, “What a bunch of nuts! Is this the Prime Minister?” He said he did not stand and asked Rabbi Yosef why he stood. Rabbi Yosef replied, “I was saying “Aleinu,” the prayer recited while standing at the end of morning, afternoon and evening prayers.
Rabbi Cohen explained that the Rabbi Yosef “didn’t want this ridiculous song to influence him.”
That shows the difference between Rav Ovadia – who had the good sense not to insult the majority of Israelis, religious as well as secular – and Rabbi Cohen, who does not have the sense to shut up.
Rabbi Shimon Baadnie, a member of the Shas Council of Sages, tried to explain that Rabbi Cohen really did not intend to say that HaTikvah is stupid but that it simply “is sung in a stupid way.”
However, there was no explanation to justify or rationalize Rabbi Cohen’s vicious attack on the national religious community. The good rabbi compared the “knitted kippa” Jewish community with the influence of Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy.
Shas is stinging from the desertion the influential Sephardi Rabbi Yoram Abergil, who has announced he is supporting the Yachad party led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai.
Here are the words from HaTikvah that Jews all over the world sing and with which Rabbi Baadnie has a problem:
As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem
Rabbi Baadnie said, “People say words and don’t understand what they mean.’Free in our land.’? Where is our freedom when we have sorrow from Arabs. The People of Israel are not free because Arabs, Americans and Europeans drive us crazy.”
It would have been more impressive if Rabbi Cohen had said something like, “We are not free because the Third Temple has not been built” but how could he think of such a thing with politics on his brain?
Nevertheless, the rabbi is right to a certain extent, but being “right” often is being stupid, even more so than the song may seem to Rabbi Cohen.
That is exactly what Shmira Imber, daughter of HaTikvah composer Naftali Herz Imber, told Walla! in response to Rabbi Cohen’s remarks:
“It is stupid to say that,” she said.
Below is a Barbara Streisand’s rendition of HaTikvah, stupid or not.
Polls that showing that Eli Yishai’s Yachad party won’t pass the minimum electoral threshold. Neither will Michael Ben-Ari’s Otzma Yehudit party. As a result, they could lose at least 4 seats that could have gone towards a right-wing coalition.
But joined together, the two are not only more likely to get in, but could possibly get as many as 7 seats.
But it comes at a cost.
Bayit Yehudi drops from 15 or 16 in the polls to 13 seats. Shas will also take a hit and drop back down to 6, after rallying this past week.
While Bayit Yehudi will take a small hit, in the big picture, Bayit Yehudi and Yachad would then bring 20 seats to the coalition, not 15 – assuming Naftali Bennett agrees to work with them after the elections.
It’s clear that neither the Yachad nor the Otzma party chiefs plans to step down for the greater good and ensure Bayit Yehudi gets their otherwise lost votes, so the only sane option left is for them is to join together for the elections.
The question is, will their ideological handcuffs allow them to do the right thing?
Four pre-election polls published Thursday night and Friday morning show varying results, but two of them reveal that the popularity of Labor-Livni has grown by a solitary seat in the Knesset. Nevertheless, Israel’s establishment media are reporting the trivial news as if there is a rush of support for the left.
Polls are not meaningless, but when a party registers one seat more or one less from week to week, it is virtually insignificant, numerically as well as statistically when taking into account the margin of error in small samples.
That has not stopped Israel Radio, known by the misnomer in English as the Voice of Israel, from promoting the results of this week’s poll as a victory for the “Zionist camp,” a label now claimed by everyone except for Neturei Karta.
Similarly, three television polls show that the lead party is the “Zionist camp,” whose list of candidates likely to be elected includes those who want to turn over all of Judea and Samaria as well as half of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority, which has said that no Jew will be allowed to live there.
The same poll trumpeted by Israel radio also shows that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has a 4 percentage lead over Labor party leaders Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni when voters are faced with the question of who should be Prime Minister. However, Rafi Smith, who carried out the poll, said this is insignificant because of the margin of error, which apparently does not apply to results in favor of the left.
But that was the secondary headline.
The big news, according to Israel Radio, is that Herzog-Livni is now leading the Likud party by two seats instead of one.
The gap is 2, 4 and 1 in three polls on television channels 2, 10 and 1.
More significant is that Herzog-Livni still have no chance to form a coalition government without an ungodly collection of Meretz and Yisrael Beiteinu or Yisrael Beiteinu and Haredi parties.
After adding up all the numbers, the picture has not changed from last week or even last month: There are two camps: the anti-Netanyahu parties of Labor-Livni, Meretz and Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid; and the pro-Netanyahu camp of the Likud and the Jewish Home, which according to all polls is holding stable with 16-17 mandates.
The most significant changes in the numbers relate to Yisrael Beiteinu, which has been in a clear trend of a decline in the past month. The four polls give the party 5, 6 and 7 seats, far less than when the current Knesset was dissolved.
After taking into account small differences in poll results for the other parties, Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon, Yesh Atid, Meretz and Shas are not moving up or down significantly.
Eli Yishai, who split from Shas and formed his own party, still is on the borderline of being shut out of the Knesset.
There are other very significant indications: If Labor-Livni picks up any more seats, it will be at the expense of Meretz or Yesh Atid, and vice-versa. If Kulanu attracts more voters, they likely will move over from Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beiteinu and possibly the Likud.
There still are two months left before voters go to the polls, and Israel Radio and most of the television channels will try to convince voters that Herzog and Livni have the best chance to win.
If the combined party comes out on top, President Reuven Rivlin will have little choice but to give it the first crack at forming a government, which brings back to mind the elections five years ago.
Aryeh Deri is pulling down the curtain on his third-grade political acrobatic stunt and will play the part of the most humble man on the planet Monday when he accepts a rabbi’s order to return to head whatever remains of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.
Deri quit last month, vowing never to return, after a leaked video showed the party’s founder and spiritual leader, the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, praising Deri’s political enemy Eli Yishai and calling Deri “evil” because of the bribery scandal that landed him in the slammer for three years.
Deri performed a splendid act of saying he could not possibly return to the Shas party after a still-unknown instigator exposed the video and supposedly disgraced the holiness of Rabbi Yosef.
It is not clear why so many people think that the video shamed the late rabbi. His image actually should have been considered more holy for his having stated a politician caught for bribery is not exactly the figure who should lead Shas.
The fact that people think the opposite says a lot about the Shas political party, where the sheepish followers of Rabbi Yosef and his family worship and embalm his image,
Deri set the stage for Rabbi Shalom Cohen, head of Shas’ so-called Council of Sages, to order Deri to come back in his black hat on his white horse and head the party.
“You have no permission to leave, I order you to come back and lead the holy movement,” Rabbi Cohen commanded him.
The holy Deri will lead the holy Shas to attract the holy voters to serve in the unholy Knesset where Shas has the holy mission to cut holy deals for its holy institutions.
Deri played out the soap opera of the video leak for every vote he could.
Pre-election polls have shown that Deri will draw around seven seats in the Knesset elections March 17. Yishai’s new party is teetering on the edge of drawing enough support for the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset.
The Likud party has sailed past the Labor-Livni party in a new poll taken after early returns in the Likud primary elections Thursday night pointed to a more centrist list of candidates.
The survey for Walla! News by Teleseker (TNS) also shows that the Yisrael Beitenu party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, has suffered sharp losses following the suspected bribe scandal revealed by police last week.
With ideological right-winger Moshe Feiglin off a realistic place on the Likud list of candidates, the Likud came up with 26 projected seats in the Knesset, while Labor-Livni remained stuck with 23.
However, an Israel Radio poll taken after the Likud primary elections still puts Labor-Livni one seat ahead of the Likud.
The TNS poll revealed that 40 percent of the respondents think that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the best man to lead the government, and only 24.3 percent gave their support for Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party, and his new sidekick Tzipi Livni. The two Labor party leaders agreed that they will be rotating prime ministers if their party forms the next government, which seems unlikely if the polls don’t change dramatically before the March 17 elections.
The Jewish Home party continues to remain with 16 projected Knesset Members in all polls, one-third more than it had in the outgoing Knesset.
A Globes poll taken before the Likud primaries, like the TNS survey, shows that the Yisrael Beitenu would win only seven seats in the Knesset if elections were held today.
Both the Globes and TNS polls give Shas a new lease on life since the leak earlier this week of a video showing the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who was the first and last word in the Haredi Sephardi party, trashing Aryeh Deri and favoring Eli Yishai, who now heads his own party.
Shas would win seven seats in the Knesset, according to TNS, and six according to the Globes poll, while Yishai would come up with nothing, according to both polls.
The standing of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, and Kulanu, the new party founded by former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, remain virtually unchanged, with each one projected to win nine or ten Knesset seats.
Both polls give the left-wing Meretz party seven seats.
The bottom line is that Netanyahu will form the next government, and the Opposition may be even weaker than before.
The more that the merged Labor-Livni party cannot make headway, the more that Kahlon will mind his Ps and Qs to make sure he can get what he wants out of joining a coalition led by the Likud.
However, at this stage, a coalition of Likud, Jewish Home, Kahlon and Yisrael Beitenu still leaves Netanyahu four seats shy of a majority.
His choices are either or both of the Haredi parties because it is difficult to see Lapid and Netanyahu working together. If Lapid suddenly starts distancing himself from Labor and begins talking about the importance of Jews in Judea and Samaria, it would mean his ego finally is deflated, which would be the eighth wonder of the world.
But today’s polls are not the last word, and I am not going out on a long or weak limb to predict that Jewish home, headed by Naftali Bennett, will pick up more seats at the expense of Likud, Kahlon and possibly Yisrael Beitenu.
The Shas Council of Sages has refused to accept Aryeh Deri’s resignation as head of the Shas party.
The rabbis from Shas’s Council of Sages went to Deri’s home to personally let him know their decision. But Deri wasn’t there or wasn’t making himself available to greet them.
Following the release of the Rav Ovadia video yesterday, in which Rav Ovadia had harsh words to say about Aryeh Deri, Deri spent the day trying to redirect the message and say that whoever released the video disgraced the name of Rav Ovadia.
From the start, the resignation letter appears to have been a tactic to show Sephardi voters that Shas’s rabbis stand behind him and to shift the conversation away from the video.
According to Channel 2, Deri withdrew his resignation in response to the council’s request.
But according to Channel 10, Deri’s wife said the resignation was real, and Deri was prepared to become a regular Shas MK, and not the party head, and he wasn’t available to meet with the Rabbis at the time.
Kol Yisrael says that Deri refused to meet the Rabbis, and he told his family that he is determined to no longer be the party chairman.
The saga continues…