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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid’

Jewish Home MK: It’s Time to Separate from Yair Lapid

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yonatan “Yoni” Chetboun, elected to the Jewish Home 11th spot last January, on Tuesday told Galey Israel Radio that it’s time to dismantle the pact that ushered both Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid parties into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The interview is an open announcement of an idea that has been in discussion within Jewish Home for some time now.

An open and serious clash between the two parties, whose two leaders entered the coalition as brothers in arms, united against Netanyahu, has erupted over something called the Jewish Identity Administration, a new program devised by Bennett’s Ministry of Religious services.

The purpose of the new program was to enhance high school students’ love for the Jewish country, nation and history, through “creating live and meaningful encounters between our youth and the treasure trove of Jewish knowledge as well as the historic legacy of the nation of Israel.”

What the program was designed to do is hand out money to organizations that then would go and execute those ideas.

Except that Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced that Jewish tradition and the treasure trove of knowledge should include more than just Orthodox ideas. He wanted to see Conservative and Reform being represented as well.

In other words, take the Bennett et al idea and turn it on its head, because, frankly, much of what the initial purpose of the program entailed would have been fighting against the dangerous influence of non-halachic movements on the Jewish body politic.

In his radio interview, MK Chetboun described Lapid as pushing his own values against that of his National Religious partners. He reminded listeners that Lapid had also lumped Hesder yeshivas, whose students serve in the army in droves, together with Haredi yeshivas, and sucked the oxygen out of all of them. It took an irate intervention of Naftali Bennett to restore the budgets of the Hesderniks.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry, headed by Rabbi Shai Piron, a Lapid MK, is working on a program to “expand” recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. Call it a one-two punch.

Chetboun is openly calling for separation from Yesh Atid, even if this would be at the expense of the Jewish Home coalition membership. “Our pact with Yesh Atid positions us in an unhealthy place,” he argued, adding that the party is not commanded to stay in government at all cost, especially not at the cost of abandoning its values, such as the fact that it’s an Orthodox party.

Of course, Yair Lapid is probably the one politician who did the most to bring Bennett and his Knesset list into the government—for purely political and manipulative reasons, but, nevertheless, without him they would have been out and the Haredim in.

The crucial question is whether or not the bridges have been burned to a crisp between Naftali Bennett and the two Haredi parties, Shas and UTJ. Together, they represent a formidable block of 30 MKs – only one less than Likud Beiteinu’s 31. The problem is that a few of the Haredi MKs are anti-Zionist, and some of them have a greater empathy for, say Beduins in the Negev, than for Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

Still, the Chetboun interview today means that there’s a groundswell within the Jewish Home to sever the ties with Lapid and his minions, and it may not necessarily meet with disapproval on Naftali Bennett’s part.

The Galey Israel Radio interview. Sorry – nothing but Hebrew from this point on…

Jewish Home Attacking Lapid on Haredi Draft

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

At the start of the debate Wednesday morning of the Perry Committee recommendations regarding “equal burden,” a popular euphemism that stands for (to be blunt) “those Haredi parasites better get off their warm benches and lie down in the trenches with the rest of us,” Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel, a senior member of the Jewish Home Knesset delegation, pointed out the coalition agreements signed between his own party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, and made it clear that there was an official understanding in those agreements regarding the conscription of Haredim: there would be no criminal sanctions against Haredim who refuse to serve.

Minister Ariel went on to suggest that Yesh Atid has a hidden agenda in this case, an agenda that has little to do with the ultimate purpose of peacefully integrating the Haredim into the Army and, later, into a normative, productive life.

Over the past few months, since the national elections in which Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish home took in 31 Knesset seats (out of 120), the brotherly partnership between those two parties has been under great public scrutiny, as we’ve all been awaiting that one issue that would force them into opposite corners of the coalition chamber.

Because, let’s face it, ideologically there are vast differences between them. The main thing they agree on is a loose understanding of the free market, which neither one has truly upheld when it came to legislation (Paul Rand would probably consider both Lapid and Bennett rabid communists…).

If you were looking to bet the average Israeli news junky, they would probably have given you odds on the settlements, the 2-state solution, Judea and Samaria, annexed East Jerusalem, E-4n – any one of these hot potato issues was most likely to tear up the perpetual, occasionally nauseating hug between Yair and Naftali.

Turns out it might be the Haredi draft—an issue both parties and both leaders agree on nearly 100 percent. Both parties believe Haredim should serve and should go to work. But the Lapid folks are insisting—as of two days ago—that criminal penalties against Haredim refusing to serve are an essential component of the proposed new law – and Lapid declared he’s prepared to walk out of the coalition government over it.

It’s kind of a Sarah Palin move, if you ask me, except she abandoned her elected office half way through her first term, and Lapid has barely warmed his Finance Minister’s abacus.

The decision to play this kind of hardball came from Lapid, or Lapid’s advisors (I’m thinking Ehud Olmert). But it definitely involves the entire Yesh Atid delegation. Rabbi Shai Piron, a Yesh Atid MK, Education Minister and former dean of a yeshiva, told Ynet: “The parasites will not receive a kosher certificate.”

Seriously? This kind of provocative, and, frankly, antisemitic language, is a sign that the kindly minister (he really is a very nice man) had received his marching orders: rev up the engine, it’s time to score some points.

Minister Ariel accused them of just that: “We asked to be kept in the loop,” he told Jacob Pery and the Yesh Atid reps around the committee table. “You did not act fairly when you prevented communication over the past two days,” he pushed on. “I asked three times” for information “and was rejected. There used to be an understanding between the two parties – a common path. And now it’s being stepped on rudely. I don’t understand what it’s for and why there’s a need to undo the agreements which we spent so many nights and hours laboring over every word written in them.”

And then a representative of the Justice Ministry stated: “We never said it was impossible to impose economic sanctions.”

Justice – that the purview of Tzipi Livni, the Israeli politician who gives narcissism a bad name. Together, Lapid and Tzipi are dreaming of a day when Haredim will be arrested and impoverished, possibly with the same police raid.

Never mind that Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has been telling anyone who would listen that, as far as he’s concerned, there will not be any mention of sanctions – economic or criminal – in the new draft bill. After all, Yaalon is just in charge of the IDF, which will be charged with applying the new law. Why would Lapid want to be tougher on Haredi recruits than the guy in charge of the Army?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-home-attacking-lapid-on-haredi-draft/2013/05/29/

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