On Wednesday afternoon, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read out the details of his new government, prior to a lengthy debate and the eventual swearing in of its ministers, the members of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party demonstrated just how bitterly they resent being left out of the coalition: They got up and walked out of the plenum.Yeah right. Don't consider them for a seat in the government and it's automatically discriminatory. Boo hoo, cry us a river.
Over the hours of ensuing debate, they returned to the chamber, and several of them — along with their colleagues from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party — took the opportunity to walk to the podium and denounce a government they variously described as un-Jewish, anti-Jewish, shameful, evil and heartless.
At the end of his speech, UTJ’s Moshe Gafni went so far as to rip up what he said were copies of the coalition agreements, echoing Chaim Herzog in New York with the UN’s Zionism is Racism resolution. Talk about sore losers.
Netanyahu has pledged to try to find a way, somehow, to include the Haredim in the government at a later stage. But on Monday, portraying themselves as shunned outcasts, they did not look like they planned to wait quietly for the prime minister to grace them with a phone call. In fact, they seemed to take to the art of feisty opposition politics with alacrity.It's not just because of the Torah, it's because of the ancient Israelites' ability to show the courage to stand up to their former enslavers in Egypt. It's because of their courage in fighting to regain their country, their freedom, their self-determination, stuff like that. And the first component of the Torah we received in Sinai was the 10 Commandments. The downside was how, while Moses spent time atop the mountain, a group of ancient Israelites down below were turning their backs on what was to come while preparing the golden calf. Something which, most sadly, the Haredis have built as well: a calf that stands for welfare worship, insular and homogenous lifestyles.
At the end of the debate, when the Knesset secretary asked each of the 120 MKs to vote “in favor” or “against” the new government, even the most strident opponents of Netanyahu and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, such as the Hadash (Communist) MK Dov Khenin or the Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, made do with a simple “against.” Several of the Haredi MKs, though, felt the need to add a little commentary. “Against this evil government,” yelled one. “Against a government that declared war on the Haredim,” shouted another.
Gafni, in his furious address, declared that, “We believe that we (the Jewish people) exist only because of the merit of Torah, since we stood at Mount Sinai. Without the Torah, we wouldn’t be here in Israel.” He slammed the coalition agreements for outrageously discriminating against the ultra-Orthodox, and said the plans for drafting the ultra-Orthodox have not been thought through properly and are unworkable.
From the podium, meanwhile, Shas’s Aryeh Deri was also sounding off bitterly — and his target was not only Netanyahu’s new partners, but also the prime minister himself. His party negotiated with Netanyahu’s representatives in good faith, Deri said, and would have been ready to agree to a significant increase in the number of yeshiva students being drafted. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that the goal of the coalition was to exclude the ultra-Orthodox.Uh uh, it's more than they do. Deri sure needs glasses - has he failed to notice rabbi Dov Lipman and Naftali Bennett himself? One's Haredi and the other wears a skullcap. Deri, on the other hand, is a convicted felon. Thank goodness he's not part of the coalition; he'd be a blemish on its image.
“There’ll be no one there with a beard or a skullcap” to ruin the picture of the new government, taken at the President’s Residence after the swear-in. “Great achievement,” Deri said sarcastically. “Treasure the picture.”
The Haredim weren’t the ones siphoning off undeserved money, he claimed. “The little they get is less than they deserve.”
It wasn’t all Haredi anger at the podium. The ultra-Orthodox MKs’ new opposition partners from Labor got in heavily on the act as well. Early in the debate, Labor’s Shelly Yachimovich gave a strikingly angry speech, attacking Netanyahu and his partners for their heartless economic and social policies, and their refusal to recognize the imperative for progress with the Palestinians. Netanyahu had negotiated with her in good faith, she acknowledged, but never for a moment did he allow himself to consider that, perhaps, some of his policies might be misguided.And neither does she. Such a heartless buffoon she is.
In the chamber, the new ruling parties were predictably unfazed by all the attacks. Likud’s Gilad Erdan took Yachimovich to task for having slammed the coalition parties as “thirsty and rich.” Netanyahu, Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Bennett and Hatnua’s Tzipi Livni, she had said, are all “capitalists” from “well-connected families,” who know no financial worries. Neither do you, Erdan replied, citing Yachimovich’s (not particularly high) monthly salary of NIS 56,000 ($15,000). Surely her assistants make much less than that, he added, rather weakly.Oh we'll do it alright, because people like you didn't bother to include it in your own school curriculum. Thanks for leaving it to us to sort out all those kind of problems, Margi. And thanks for showing your true colors by now allying yourself with the left.
Yesh Atid, too, hit back, denying it was a party for the well-off. “We fought for three ministries that are not talking about the rich: social welfare, health, and education. No one ever fought so hard for the education portfolio in the history of Israeli coalitions,” Yesh Atid MK Adi Koll told The Times of Israel. “People told us we’re crazy to take the Welfare Ministry, because it’s a lose-lose situation; you can never solve all the problems. But we took all the tough ministries.”
Besides pushing for drafting the Haredim and teaching a secular “core curriculum” in state-funded Haredi schools, Yesh Atid was also taking pride in the reduced size of the coalition. While the 32nd government had 30 ministers, the new one only has 23, Netanyahu included. A smaller cabinet saves millions of shekels, party officials argued.
But in their improbable new partnership with Labor, the Haredim savaged that claim too. The outgoing cabinet of 30 has been replaced by one with 22 ministers and eight deputies, Shas’s Ya’akov Margi noted. Do the math, he urged.
So there's another stunning display of the beast coming out and not willing to take responsibility for their own errors. Some of the commentors on the article had good points to make as well. For example:
How dare Shas call the new members of the coalition "unJewish"-- since when did they become the judge and jury? These are the same people that practically sold off the Golan and chunks of Israel by endorsing Oslo. These are the same people who would sell out their brother for a bowl of soup? Or for a yeshiva tuition. These are the worst offenders in our pack, they have no moral scruples and absolutely no Jewish loyality whatsover to the state of Israel. They are posers, not real Jews.And not real religious Judaists either. Another says:
Real class, these haredim. Take away their money and power, and they show their true, ugly, nonJewish colors.They actually provide a good way to evaluate their personal color of character that way. And then:
Sore loosers getting a taste of their own medicine! My heart breaks...not!Neither does mine. And then:
I watched the live footage of the charedim in the Knesset. Shameful is an understatement. To think that they presume to be true representatives of the Torah World makes my head spin. There was little Torah and Derech Eretz anywhere in their shameful behaviour. In my eyes they mostly are 'Virtual Jews'. Like virtual people on the Internet. Create an avatar. clothe it to your expectations and say its real. The charedim have created a 'parnasah' from Torah. They learn not for God but for the gelt. They seem to be more concerned in their clothing and how they look to one another, segregating themselves even from other chassidic sects with different nuances of socks, shoes, hats, shtreimel and bekeshes. They avoid participating in the building of the country. Heaven forbid they have to hold a spade or a Turiyah not to mention a weapon to defend theyre family and country. No they are too good for that, the shgutzim were created for that. They see themselves alone as Jews whilst the rest are shagetzim and goyim. I'm sorry to say they mostly are a walking chillul Hashem. And don't accuse me of hating charedim, I actually come from that sector. But to see what they have become today and just what they represent has my stomach churning. Geulah will NOT come from anyone in that sector, they are far removed from the concept. Of course I don't mean all of them, but enough of them fit the above mentioned bill.Well spoken. Here's another comment that scores gold:
A large percentage of the ultra orthodox in Israel do not follow the teachings of the Talmud. The Talmud specifically states that a family must be provided for, by the sweat of one's brow. Torah learning comes after providing for one's family.And how. Once again, their path to the opposition is richly deserved. To be fair, they seem to have backtracked on any suggestions they'll be vindictive against "settlements". But they'll still need to be watched closely, and another sad thing is that there's every chance some Haredis consumed by these backwards beliefs will take out their anger against us in very bad ways. We need to be ready to face the difficulties they're likely to cause us.
Those who don't work, and are not true Torah scholars [ a small percentage are genuine Torah scholars ] are simply parasites, living off of the rest of the country. This will finally begin to be brought to an end, along with a majority who must start serving in the army, or doing public service instead of army service.
The rabbis who brought this situation about are the ones to blame, as the majority of the ultra orthodox do their bidding. Unfortunately, [ the rabbis in question ] these are people who have no shame, and should be branded as the parasites they have become.