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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘United Torah Judaism’

Jewish Home Rabbi: We Are Not Against Haredim, We Are Against Shas

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the chief rabbi of Tsfat and one of the most prominent rabbis affiliated with the Jewish Home party, called on party chairman Naftali Bennett to make an effort to add United Torah Judaism to the new coalition government, and leave Shas out.

In an editorial published this weekend in the Olam Katan shul freebee, Rabbi Eliyahu describes his visits over the past month to the homes of Hasidic leaders and prominent Haredi rabbis, to try and form a joint alliance between the religious Jewish parties.

“I sat down with members of the Knesset various factions, discussing unity. To this end, I asked them if they could commit in the name of Shas and Aryeh Deri not betray the alliance. No one could commit in the name of Aryeh Deri, no Rebbe and no MK, not even Shas’ own MKs,” Rabbi Eliyahu wrote.

He explained that he “would love to ally with the Haredim, but I don’t want to be fooled by such an alliance.” He added: “You can’t fault Naftali Bennett for refusing to seek with eyes closed shut such an entirely fraudulent deal.”

Nevertheless, However, Rabbi Eliyahu argued that “we should today form an alliance with Agudat Israel. They are our flesh and blood brothers. Even if they do not all serve in the army and if we’ve had occasional complaints against them in the past, they are our brothers. They are close to us about the issues of the Land of Israel, Shabbat, Chastity and the importance of Torah study. They are no less our brothers than anyone else.”

The chief rabbi of Tsfat argued in favor of finding a solution to the issue of army enlistment, but urged doing this through a “pact with Agudat Israel and not through coercion. We need to find a way to incorporate them in the agreement Jewish Home has with Yesh Atid. We can’t leave them out.”

“We have to cry out loud: We are not against the Haredim. We are only against those who sold us out in the Oslo Accords. We need to explain that not all the Haredim are the same. We should embrace warmly the Agudat Israel faction and bring it into the government,” he said.

Bibi, Bennett, Yair Talks Breakthrough: Shas Gets Boot

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

After several weeks in which it seemed that the gaps between the sides in the coalition negotiations on burden equality could not be bridged, we’re now being told, according to Maariv, that a solution is near. Senior Likud negotiators said Tuesday night that they are close to an agreement with the Jewish Home over an outline for equal burden legislation. According to those sources, the Jewish Home team told them they are authorized to negotiate on behalf of Yesh Atid as well.

At this point, sources in both teams are saying they are close to an agreement, at least over the recruitment age for Haredim: 21. This figure is a kind of compromise between age proposed by the Likud-Beitenu: 24, and the Yesh Atid position: 18.

There were huge problems with the age 24 idea, which was, in essence, a Trojan horse pushed in by the Haredi parties through the Likud-Beitenu team. First, in terms of the recruit’s usefulness to the IDF, at 24 he is basically unavailable to combat duty. Also, by the time he is 24, the average Haredi man could be the proud father of several children, which entitles him to a significant military stipend. In other words: at 24 he is more trouble than he’s worth.

Also, the Jewish Home team was arguing that the same Supreme Court that killed the previous Tal Law on grounds of inequality will no doubt reject the age 24 idea on the same grounds. Even at age 21, the Haredi recruits are only expected to serve two years—which is very likely to be challenged in front of the court by anyone who didn’t make it into the government and isn’t Haredi.

Incidentally, according to Maariv, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid do not agree on the enlistment of another, much larger segment of the population, the Arabs, who have been just as useless to the community at large as the Haredim, but comprise 20-25% of the population, as opposed to the estimated Haredi 8%. While Jewish Home would like to see the Arabs shouldering the burden like the rest of Israel’s young men and women, Lapid’s party is not as shocked and anguished over Arab inequality, possibly because they like them more than they do Haredim.

One message is clear, for now: according to Jewish Home sources, the Likud-Beitenu team has given up on trying to split the Bennett-Lapid pact. This might mean that Benjamin Netanyahu’s and Avigdor Liberman’s worst nightmares could be realized over the next four years, namely that those two young, sassy winners will use their stay in power to push their respective parties to an even bigger share of the vote next time around.

On the other hands, when you’re in charge of actual government ministries, things can happen…

Finally, whether or not the next coalition will include Shas and Torah Judaism, the 17-seat strong Haredi block, it appears that their two “traditional” portfolios, Interior and Housing, Shas’s source of patronage jobs and huge influence over Israeli society, is lost to them, at least for now. It isn’t clear yet, however, whether those two rich portfolios will be given to Bennett’s party or kept in Likud-Beitenu’s embrace.

Being kept apart from its traditional lifeline could spell the beginning of the end for both sectarian Haredi parties, who’ll start losing followers to the broader-based Jewish Home. Coupled with the probable, at this point, appointment of National Religious Rabbi David Stav to Chief Rabbi, this could mean the beginning of a new golden age for Religious Zionism.

Put that in Obama’s pipe and let him smoke it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibbi-bennet-yair-talks-breakthrough-shas-gets-boot/2013/02/26/

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