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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yair Lapid’

Lapid: the Hareidim Are our Misfortune

Tuesday, December 10th, 2013

“The Victory of the Maccabees was the Jewish People’s Greatest Failure!”

“Because of that Victory, We Remained with Our Outdated Religion, Disconnected from the Advanced Civilization of Ancient Greece.

“If not for that Unfortunate Maccabee Victory, We Would have been Spared Everything that Happened to Us in Our Long Exile, and We Would Today be a Happy Normal Nation, Living as Part of the Family of Nations.”

–Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, former Israeli radio and television journalist and former head of the Shinui (Jewish Transformation) Party

(Paraphrased by Rabbi Moshe Grylak in Mishpacha Magazine, November 27, 2013)

These were the sentiments of the now-deceased Yosef “Tommy” Lapid.

Do you agree with those sentiments?–I certainly don’t!
But his son, Yair Lapid does agree–And it matters.

Yair is head of the new “Yesh Atid” (Hope for the Future) political party and Minister of Finance in the current Netanyahu coalition government. Yesh Atid, together with Naftali Bennett’s “Habayit HaYehudi” (Jewish Home) Party now control Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition.

Yair was a television journalist before he entered politics, so he is much smoother, much more subtle and sophisticated than his gadfly father was. But, notwithstanding his softer, more nuanced approach, Yair completely agrees with the above-quoted sentiments of his now-deceased father.

Lapid: “Hareidi Parasites” in the Land of Israel

Like his father, Lapid believed that the Hareidim, together with the Palestinians, are parasites, eating away at the substance of the Nation. They contribute nothing to the economy, nothing to defense; their demands are unceasing.

They refuse to integrate into the secular mainstream, to take their place as modern productive citizens.

So, Lapid insists that If the Hareidim won’t do so voluntarily, we, the enlightened secular elite must do everything we can to drag them into the twenty-first century.

  • If that means laying siege to the Hareidi community by taking away their existing means of support, so be it.
  • If that means arresting Yeshiva and Kollel students who insist on learning Torah and refuse to join the IDF, so be it.
  • If that means cutting aid to all Hareidi-affiliated educational institutions, so be it.
  • If that means denying tax exemptions to Hareidi-affiliated charitable institutions, so be it.
  • If that means denying mortgage subsidies to Hareidi homeowners, so be it.
  • If that means starvation diets for Hareidi children, so be it.

Cost of Lapid’s Housing Plan Estimated to Be Bigger than His Ego

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, has come up with a fantastic plan to solve Israel’s apartment shortage but it has one large problem –  a cost of approximately $14 billion, according to an estimate by Globes business newspaper. That may be par for the course for the former journalist who didn’t even finish high school, let alone specialize in math.

Approval of the plan has not taken into consideration how the government will pay for it. A large cost will be compensating owners of farmland where some of this planned 150,000 apartments are to be built.

“Contractors regret that no one consulted with them in drawing up the plan, assessors call it ‘hallucinatory,’” Globes reported. The land will cost the government approximately $12 billion but will have to be sold for far less  in order to make it a feasible investment for contractors.

The plan also faces heavy opposition from environment groups and the environment ministry.

Even the estimate of $14 billion is low, according to Israel’s Real Estate Appraisers Association chairman Ehud Danus, who said the final cost could be double after taking into considering necessary schools and parks.

The Ministry of Finance responded to the report with a weird admission of that “we’re talking about the preliminary stage, and as we accumulate the land for projects, we’ll budget the activity later on.”

Mobile Phone Rate-Buster Kachlon to Form New Party

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Moshe Kachlon, the former Likud minister who busted the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel, announced on Sunday he is forming a new party to run in the next scheduled elections in 2017, assuming the current coalition holds together that long.

Kachlon resisted appeals from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to run again in the previous elections a year ago. The former minister of communications won wide popularity by allowing mobile phone competition, which has brought user rates down by 90 percent.

His new party will be based on a  social-economic platform, the badge of the Labor party that has consistently disappointed its supporters by concerning itself more with intra-party strife than its platform. Labor, unlike Kahlon’s new party, also has been saddled weighed down with an obligation by tradition to oppose a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Kachlon’s support also will come from many who voted for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which so far has done little to fulfill its promise of being the champion of the middle class.

Livni, Bennett Back Bill to Pretend Jews Need Only One Chief Rabbi

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Jewish Home chairman and Minister for Religious Affairs Naftali Bennett unveiled the outline Monday morning of their new bill to eliminate the system of a two-headed Chief Rabbinate and replace it with “one rabbi for one people.”

Modern Israel always has had two chief rabbis, one for the Ashkenazi community and one for the Sephardi community. Each community has vastly different traditions and different rulings on Jewish laws. Within each community there are several sub-cultures. There are “Yechi” Ashkenazi Jews. There are many different Chassidic sects, and there are “Litvak,” Misnagim,” Lubavitch-Chabad, Ger, Neturei Karta, Vishnitz and a host of others.

In Israel, there is no lack of different synagogues representing the origin of their worshippers’ families. There are Iraqi, Iranian (Parsi), Egyptian and Yemenite synagogues, to mention a few.

Livni, who is secular, and Bennett, who is modern Orthodox, each believe that one chief rabbi is enough for everyone,

Their bill would clear the way for a single chief rabbi in 10 years, when the next election will take place. Three months ago, Haredi Rabbi David Lau defeated national religious Rabbi David Stav to head the Ashkenazi rabbinate. Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef was elected Chief Sephardi Rabbi.

Both of the new chief rabbis are sons of two of the most popular men ever to serve as chief rabbi – Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau and the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who was highly controversial among those outside of Sephardi circles. Each man is a legend, and the thought of a single chief rabbi would have been unthinkable under their charismatic leadership.

Livni and Bennett insist they are not retrying to blur the lines of tradition. A single rabbi undoubtedly would save money, but finance is not part of their agenda.

“There is one prime minister, one president, one supreme court and one IDF Chief of Staff,” Livni said. The time has come that there should be one rabbi for one people, The time has some that Israel has one chief rabbi to unite all segments of Israeli society, [The time has come for] a rabbinate that will serve all religious sectors instead of a county that retains the separation of communities. It is possible to respect tradition in the house without separating religious authority,” she said.

Bennett chimed in, “This [bill] is an important step that symbolizes unity. The appointment of one rabbi is one of those subjects that raises the question, ‘Why wasn’t it done sooner?’ Today, when an Ashkenazi and Sephardi marry, there not two rabbis. Today, there is one army, and there are no separate positions for Ashkenazim or Sephardim.”

The idea sound so nice. All of the People of Israel will unite together, holding hands, dancing the hora and embracing each other with whole-hearted acceptance as a person and not as a “Sephardi” or “Ashkenazi.” Peace and love all wrapped up in a stewing pot of melted Jews.

Judaism has survived and blossomed since the 12 Tribes of Yaakov (Jacob) because of their unity as Jews and differences of character, personality and customs.

“One rabbi for one people” would discourage diversity. Obviously, a single chief rabbi would be an expert in different customs and would not issue a ruling that would violate a community’s customs. Sephardim would not be told to give up “kitniyot” for Passover and Ashkenazim would not start rising before dawn to recite Selichot prayers during the entire Hebrew month of Elul before Rosh HaShanah.

Regardless of whatever merits there may be to the bill, and despite probable enthusiasm from Israel’s leading secular media, the bill will have tough going.

Overcoming centuries of tradition in one Knesset session is a bit too much for Livni, the darling of dwindling leftist-center secular Israelis who did not vote for Yair Lapid and a villain to national religious Jews, including Bennett except for the one-rabbi bill. Bennett is riding a wave of secular support for his Jewish Home party, the inheritor of the old Mafdal crowd.

If the bill gets to the Knesset floor, it will provide lots of colorful copy for journalists. Shas will go berserk, and the United Torah Judaism party of Haredi Ashkenazi Jews will be able to sue Bennett for Livni for causing them a collective heart attack, God forbid.

Minister Katz: Livni Should Give Back the Car Keys

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Minister Israel Katz (best transportation minister ever!) said on Tuesday that if the news is correct, and Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni is offering a different position from that of the government she serves, she should put down the car keys and go home (to use a transpiration-related metaphor). She has no backing inside the government, nor does she enjoy a popular mandate to promote her own position.

Katz, writing on his Facebook page, emphasized that he is committed to this government and is against the dividing of Jerusalem.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who is considered a Likud leftist, nevertheless reiterated the position that when it comes to Jerusalem Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government object to dividing Jerusalem and giving up any part of Israel’s sovereignty over the city.

Of course, this government supports Arab rule on Temple Mount and is busy keeping Israeli patriots such as Likud MK Moshe Feiglin from setting foot up there, but that’s just a side issue and this is not the right time for pesky reporters to make their own pesky points.

Speaking on Israel Radio, Minister Sa’ar added that an interim deal with the Palestinians would not be out of the question, if there is a willingness on the other side. But he added that the PA is pushing a hard line and initiating anti-Israeli maneuvers while conducting the talks, which he believes they’re doing to make this round of talks fail in order to invite outside pressure to bear on Israel.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Israel Radio that Jerusalem is not even on the negotiations table with the Palestinians, and nthat the city will not be divided.

“If the Palestinians want a state, they should know it comes with a price, and they will not get everything they desire,” Lapid said.

He did express in faith in the two-state solution, adding that once the process come around to uprooting settlements, Israel will have new elections, or at least conduct a referendum.

Lapid Restores $14 Million for Foreign Yeshiva Students

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Yair Lapid, chairman of  the Yesh Atid party and Finance Minister, has agreed to a request from a Jewish Home Knesset Member to cancel a scheduled budget cut of $14 million (50 million shekels) earmarked for foreign students studying in yeshivas in Israel.

The funds will be for Haredi as well as national religious yeshivas although Haredi yeshivas almost were left out of the picture.

Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky, who also heads the Knesset Finance Committee, rejected a suggestion by Lapid that money be restored only for students at Zionist yeshivas. Slomiansky said that the presence of students, even in non-Zionist yeshiva, is good for Israel because many of the students eventually decide to live in Israel.

Bills in the Works for Homosexual Marriages and Buses on Shabbat

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Yesh Atid Knesset Members are drafting bills that would carry out the party platform’s election promises to give legal blessings to homosexual marriages and public bus transportation on the Sabbath, both actions forbidden under Jewish law but with two important differences.

Homosexuality is explicitly prohibited by the Torah, no matter how one does somersaults to conclude otherwise.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination’ (Lev. 18:22) is open to interpretation only to the point of defining the word “lie.”

Riding on a public bus on the Sabbath, if the driver is not Jewish, is a prohibition based on Torah law but not explicitly forbidden by the Torah.

The second difference is that homosexuality, unlike riding on the Sabbath, is more of an emotional issue because of its contradiction of the family unit, a foundation of a long-lasting democratic state that does not dissolve into social anarchy, and of the Torah commandment to be “fruitful and multiply.”

However, a law providing public transportation on the Sabbath would dramatically affect a change that would make Israel more secular with less recognition of Shabbat as a holy day.

This is of no interest to those in Israel, such as Yesh Atid and a large number of other political parties, who take the liberty to define a “Jewish” state based on their own views. After all, that is the modern Western thing to do these days. Everyone can be a rabbi.

Anyone who disagrees with them is not “liberal,” “progressive” or “democratic” and therefore not fit for this world.

Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, has begun discussions on the bills with the initiative of MKs Aliza Lavie and Ruth Calderon. They reportedly are trying to soften the language to gain support of the entire party.

Four unnamed Yesh Atid MKs reportedly have said they will object.

American-born Rabbi/MK Dov Lipman, told The Jewish Press Tuesday, “We are currently working on the precise details of these laws but I can say that they are being crafted with the utmost respect to the religious population and to Halacha,” he said.

Asked if he will support or oppose the bills, MK Lipman replied by e-mail, “We are formulating laws that we all agree to.  That is the beauty of working together instead of fighting against one another.”

He also stated in response to other questions, “Yesh Atid is a party which was founded with the guiding principle that the time has come for religious and Jews to respect one another and work together instead of continuing to combat each other.

“Israel is both a Jewish and democratic country and we are working as a team to navigate through challenging issues. There is no desire for anyone religious to be less religious and we actually believe that removing some of the religious coercion will actually attract people to re-engage with their Judaism.”

The probable language of homosexual “unions” and not “marriages” is semantic trickery. The difference between the two is mainly in the field of rights, but the Supreme Court in Israel already has ruled must be granted to same-sex couples.

If public opinion were to decide the issues, homosexual marriages and bus transportation on the Sabbath probably would pass, according to most opinion polls.

Lapid, whose popularity has been sinking, enthusiastically backed both upcoming bills last week, saying, “A law in favor of homosexual unions will allow every couple in the country to declare the love for each other and be recognized.”

As for public transportation on the Day of Rest, he said he is not trying to irritate the religious community. He said the bill would provide that buses not travel through religious neighborhoods but will allow “poor grandfathers to visit their grandchildren in the hospital on Shabbat” instead of having to take an expensive taxi.”

The fallacy in his thinking is that it presumes Israel is divided into “religious” and “secular” camps. That is not true. There is a large, perhaps plurality, which is “traditional” and would prefer the Sabbath to remain a public Day of rest to remain as such, even if they personally violate it.

Once the Knesset puts its official stamp to recognize homosexuality marriages – excuse me, unions – and transportation on the Sabbath, it is encouraging the practice. It would not be “coercion” because no one would be required to ride on the Sabbath, but it would increase social pressure on those who might violate it at home but not in public as a matter of respect.

Lapid is crouching to pounce on his secular prey and boost his sinking popularity, and the slogans of “a Jewish democratic state” are about to be heard ad nauseum.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bills-in-the-works-for-homosexual-unions-and-buses-on-shabbat/2013/10/22/

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