Photo Credit: Kobi Gideon / Flash90
Haredi man reading Yated Ne’eman.

The Haredi-Lithuanian Yated Ne’eman on Friday published an editorial cartoon featuring Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a suit salesman offering the Haredi public various suits which they all reject, saying, “Lo, toda!” or “No, thank you.”


The suits are tagged as “economic reform,” “technological reform,” “security reform,” and “judicial reform.” The Haredi customer, whose tallit is tagged as “Yavne and its sages,” is disinterested.

Yated Ne’eman represents the Degel HaTorah party, which is the Lithuanian faction in United Torah Judaism, together with the Hassidic Agudat Israel party. Degel HaTorah is led by MK Moshe Gafni.

The editorial cartoon should be a source of concern to the supporters of judicial reform on the right. But it is not critical only of the salesman Netanyahu’s judicial reform – it is also mistrusting of his dedication to the other major interest of the Haredi community, namely its relationship with the IDF. Netanyahu has so far refused a wholesale capitulation to Haredi demands to keep Haredi young men out of the military indefinitely. Currently, the coalition is promoting legislation allowing Haredim to enter the job market at a much earlier age than they can today, but that would not absolve them from the draft. At least not completely.

The tag “Yavne and its sages” is a reference to the Talmudic tale about the head of the Sanhedrin Rabban Yohanan Ben Zakai who escaped the burning city of Jerusalem during the failed rebellion of the year 70, and when the Roman commander Vespasian asked him what he could do for him, Ben Zakai chose not to ask him to spare the holy city and the Temple but instead requested to be allowed to re-establish his academy in the town of Yavne, away from the raging war.

Nuff said?


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