IS LIEBERMAN RIGHT?
- The reason (or pretext?), because of which Avigdor Lieberman disrupted the formation of the right-wing government in Israel, was the religious dominance that the ultra-orthodox right-coalition partners were able to impose. The balance of mandates after the April elections (which Lieberman initiated) was such that without the orthodox religious parties Shas and the Jews of Torah, it was impossible to form a government.
Another right-wing, moderate religious party was added to the ultra-Orthodox. The secular right, led by Naphtali Benet and Ayelet Shaked, did not pass the electoral barrier. Let me remind you that there was a time when Naphtali Benet cooperated with “anti-religious” Yair Lapid against Benjamin Netanyahu inside the government, and now he was reminded of whom he received his mandates and ministerial post from.
As a result, the traditional balance within the right block was broken. The ultra-Orthodox were able to impose their own conditions, since the existence of the right-wing government was completely in their hands. Yes, but what’s so bad about this very “religious dominance”, because of which the secular part of society votes for such a talentless politician as Yair Lapid, and for his wedding generals who have no political experience?
The only of the three generals who still has political experience, Moshe Ya’alon, learned politics under the strict guidance of Benjamin Netanyahu … For some reason, voters forget that voting for Benny Ganz, they actually choose Yair Lapid, who modestly hides behind mighty back of yesterday’s chief of staff. Accordingly, a second question arises: why is Yair Lapid, actually, so bad?
2.Thus, let’s consider these questions in order.
The problem of religious dominance in Israel does really exist. It lies in the fact that ultra-religious politicians representing a minority of voters impose rules of behavior at home and at work, and even laws, that really interfere with needs of working people and their work, equally secular and religious.
For example, the requirement always to not work on Saturday, contradicts the conditions of the modern economy and the way of life of a developed nation. All this despite the fact that non-ultra-orthodox “provide food” by their work for the ultra-orthodox, and also protect them from external enemies, substituting themselves for bullets and shells.
Let me give you my own example. I worked at a facility that cannot be stopped anyway, even on Yom Kippur. I, as a secular and “Russian”, always fell to work on Yom Kippur, because many workers refused to work on this day: either they follow traditions, or they are afraid to drive on this sacred day to come to work or come back home.
Before Yom Kippur enters, we performed the staff change two hours earlier than usual. But what we had to do in the morning, at 6:30, when one staff should leave the company, and the other to start working? The carriers, unless they were Arabs, refused to drive in Yom Kippur. So we had to risk our cars and maybe our lives in order to get home after a night work of 14 hours or more. If the changer did not arrive at work, then we were forced to work 26 hours, thereby violating the law, but what we have to do if there is no other solution?
The refusal of ultra-religious to serve in the army means that they send non-believers as well as believers who serve in the army, to the enemy’s bullets. This is unfair and contrary to the morality of Judaism.
Religious politicians impose on the people of Israel a way of life that was formed in the dark Middle Ages among the Jewish communities of dispersion, when the professions “allowed” to Jews were limited to finance and trade. The professions and the social composition of the Jewish communities differed sharply from the «ordinary» in those countries where the Jews lived as «guests.»
Both in the countries of Islam and in Christian countries, Jews were forbidden to wield weapons and use them. Accordingly, self-defense skills simply did not exist. We had to rely on God, on money, or flee or die. The State of Israel was created to protect the Jews, if needed, in battle.
Our ultra-religious brothers want to be protected, fed and watered by non-religious. They want to pray and follow the traditions to be taken to the Paradise. But non-believers that protect and maybe die for the sake of believers, will be sent to hell!
Moving to Israel (that is, Zionism) normalized the social structure of the Jewish people. The professions of the Jews of Israel today are the same as those of all «developed» nations. Most of these occupations are incompatible with the traditional Jewish way of life. We, working Jews, break traditions not because of any particular malignancy. Our work and life in a modern state simply compels us to do this.
Moreover, even in the past, the Jews needed the help of people who were called “shabes goim”. In essence, the Jews could strictly observe their customs only thanks to the help of such “shabes goys”.
Today in Israel, secular Jews, some religious Jews (let’s call them “honest” religious), as well as non-Jews who live and work in Israel, have taken on the role of the collective “Shabes Goy”.
So, instead of deep gratitude to all the workers who took the burden of the collective “shabbes goy”, who gave religious Jews the very opportunity to observe the traditions and devote their lives to studying the Torah — instead of such gratitude, religious politicians cut the branch on which they sit making it difficult for the working part of the population to fulfill this difficult task: to protect and support their own families and the families of those who pray.
And the hardest blow was dealt to those who receive the lowest wages for their work. This part of the working population cannot buy an apartment and a car. Just these people need public transport that does not go on Saturday due to the fault of religious politicians. They give one of two wages for renting crappy housing in the most disadvantaged areas that the local authorities “forgot” and in which all shops are closed on Saturday.
People who work overtime all week, can buy the food only on Saturday, but they have no transportation to get outside their neighborhood. Does Judaism require Jewish working people to fast every Saturday and then all the week? Ultra-religious politicians forcibly impose traditions that cannot be observed by working people.
The need to pay dearly for housing, forces both parents to work, and for this they have to refuse to give birth to children. Instead, those not working, but “learning the Torah” religious parents, successfully give birth to children and quickly multiply … Thus, the number of those who do not work grows exponentially, and the number of workers decreases. Since Israel has successfully dealt with the problem of illegal immigration, we are in a social and demographic stalemate. If the religious part of the population does not start working to the same extent as the rest of population (and the work begins with military service), we will not get out of this impasse.
3.Let’s look at this issue in terms of the morality of Judaism.
Our ancient prophets called on the Jewish people to seek the grace of God, observing his moral commandments. Prophets directly condemned the fascination with sacrifices, ceremonies, and worship.
In this ancient dispute between the prophets and the priests, our ultra-religious rabbis frankly contradict the prophets. The endless repetition of prayers, the observance of food and other prohibitions — this is the cult, which, after the destruction of the Temple, replaced the sacrifices. Thanks to the observance of the prohibitions and the endless repetition of prayers, the believing Jews hope to improve their material and living conditions after death, that is, go to Paradise. Moral values turned out to be “superfluous”, sins can be appeased.
It turns out that forcing unbelievers to work, providing for themselves, God’s beloved, the opportunity to continuously pray, learn Torah, without wasting time on work, in this way our charitable ultra-Orthodox “staked out” a paradise for themselves, depriving honestly working people of the opportunity to get into the paradise. We have no time to cram a Torah and pray!
That is, from their own point of view, the “observants” stole God and the paradise for themselves, taking away these benefits from all other Jews. The demands of ultra-orthodox politicians, which they impose on all non-orthodox, are immoral from the point of view of Judaism. They violate the Ten Commandments of God, first of all the commandment «do not steal.»
However, “study” and “compliance” are, in essence, just a fig leaf covering up a reluctance to work honestly and to serve in the army on an equal footing. Is this the moral of the Torah? Let heed the prophets, because they are an integral part of the Torah, which you cram without delving into the essence of what is written.
That part of the religious population that votes for the right bloc («knitted kippas») opposes the ultra-Orthodox and follows the precepts of the prophets: they serve in the army and work.
There is another group that joined the ultra-Orthodox. I have in mind the followers of Hasidism, supporters of the party Degel haTora («Banner of the Torah»). If the founders of the Chassidic movement were resurrected and saw what their followers are doing, they would have been horrified. By definition, the cramming of the Torah and the endless repetition of prayers are contrary to the teachings of Hasidism. I believe that after the elections, this party should break its unnatural alliance with the “Litvaks” and enter the government on terms acceptable to all workers, secular and religious.
4.So, Lieberman saddled the right horse, refusing to sit in the same government as the ultra-Orthodox. This will give him the opportunity to increase the deputy mandates. But how does he use these mandates? We have already received an answer on this point: Lieberman calls for the “big coalition” Likud and Kahol Laban, that is, he wants to bring Netanyahu and Yair Lapid together. Moreover, he warned that he himself will decide which of these two is worthy of the Prime Minister’s office.
This last condition reveals his real intentions to all. The “leap” from the ultra-right (“only wall is to the right of Lieberman”) to the left is, in fact, a long tradition of Israeli politics. Before the elections, our populists paint themselves as defenders of the people from terrorists, and after the elections they do what they really want. Experience shows that they want what their “donors” want. It is enough to recall former Likud hawk Ezer Weizmann, who “flipped”, having received “support” of 2.5 million dollars from the American “donor”.
Here’s quite a fresh story with Ehud Barak. This former general and experienced politician announced his desire to participate in the upcoming elections. Yes, compared with Benny Ganz, Barak really looks preferable: former general and prime minister, he collaborated with Netanyahu in an effort to stop a nuclear deal with Iran. Looks like the last killed him. After a visit to the “donor”, Barak abandoned his idea, despite favorable forecasts for him, and settled down at the tail of the Meretz party in an unreal place. It turns out that the “donor” pushed him so that he would not “eat” the voices of Benny Ganz.
I have no information about the monetary interests of Rabin and Peres, the former “hawks” of Avoda (Peres is considered the “father” of the Israeli nuclear bomb), or Ariel Sharon, who painted himself far right, and then split Likud and arranged “Disengagement.” All three retrained from the “hawks” to the “pigeons”, after which they took actions detrimental to our security. Does Lieberman follow their path?
Yes, Lieberman did the right thing, demanding the removal of ultra-Orthodox from the government. But here I resolutely disagree with his alternative to the “government of halacha”, and here is why.
- 5.The Jewish State placed in the center of the Islamic world, with anti-Semitism, which really dominates the World Village (the UN simply reflects this cardinal fact) — our state and our people are in a particularly difficult situation. Accordingly, the head of the Israeli government should be politician particularly intelligent and independent of the “donors”.
What is the alternative to Netanyahu that Lieberman offers us?
Benny Ganz was called only to save Yair Lapid from defeat in the elections. Those who voted for Benny Ganz actually chose Yair Lapid. So let’s take a closer look at this politician.
Yair Lapid, a journalist and television host, was an associate of the owner of the Yediot Aharonot concern, Nuni Moses. The one that is being investigated in the “case 2000” as having offered a bribe to Benjamin Netanyahu. Mozes claimed that «he appoints and dismisses the prime ministers of Israel.» As applied to the 1990s, this statement was true, but then Moses lost his monopoly because of the Israel Hayom alternative newspaper, and later because of the electronic media.
Moreover, Yair Lapid is also involved in the “case 2000”, but not as a suspect, but as a “witness”. In other words, he was privy to the secrets of his boss, including the secret of the tape with the conversation of Moses and Netanyahu, which Moses kept until he passed it into the hands of the police.
In this regard, there are two questions. If Lapid knew about the bribe, but did not report it to the police when these events took place, then he is an accomplice, and had to go through the “case 2000” as an accused, and not as a “witness”. It turns out that it is the police who decide who will go to jail, and who will be the prime minister of Israel instead.
The police has replaced Moses as one “appointing the head of government”: they blamed Netanyahu and “cleared” his main political rival, giving him the opportunity to become Israeli Prime Minister. In this case, Lieberman collaborates with the police, perhaps in gratitude for the fact that they did not put him in jail, contrary to his confidant Madame Kirshenbaum and other dealers from Israel Beitenu party.
I believe that in such a situation, the case against the Prime Minister must be removed from the hands of the police and handed over to the Knesset. In the US, this is called the impeachment process. Let the Knesset appoint an independent commission (such as a special investigator Muller), and then decide on the withdrawal or confirmation of charges against the Prime Minister and other accomplices, including Lapid.
The second danger connected with the premiership of Yair Lapid is that Nuni Mozes could save tapes not only against Netanyahu, but also against his accomplice Lapid. Then, while in prison, Moses will be able to blackmail Prime Minister Lapid and control Israel from the prison cell.
Benny Ganz is weak in economics and politics, but, as we know, strong in intrigues. He became chief of the general staff only because General Galant, appointed to this position, was caught at the “right moment” on the fact that many years before he had “slightly added” his personal piece of land at the expense of public territory. It turns out that the police appoint not only the prime minister, but also the chief of staff. And this is called democracy?
Both candidates for the premiership, which Lieberman and the police have slipped to us, are not professionally suitable for this position. None of them proved their suitability in any serious political post. Ganz has a completely different profession, and Lapid didn’t shine with his talents as finance minister.
I was not lazy enough and read the original text of the program of the party Kahol Lavan. This program sounds extremely sorry. Not only because of the lack of clear and productive ideas. The authors of the program simply failed to clearly and intelligibly explain the few thoughts contained there. Well, the generals are not obliged to be able to communicate ideas intelligibly, but how did the journalist Yair Lapid not correct his program? Against the background of the brilliant speeches and clips of Netanyahu, all the leaders of Kahol-Lavan look just sorry. How will they speak at international forums, and what impression will they leave about the people of Israel?
Well, if not Lapid with Ganz, then who can join the Netanyahu coalition?
First, the right block, headed by Aelet Shaked. This secular and religious bloc has pledged to recommend Benjamin Netanyahu for the post of prime minister. And they are not ultra-religious. Supporters of this bloc work and serve in the army, setting an example for everyone.
Apparently, Likud and the right bloc will not have enough mandates, so Netanyahu must take someone who will replace the ultra-Orthodox in the government. The «remotely controlled» politicians, Lapid and his generals, are undesirable. It is better to take the lefties Peretz with his pretty “social allowance” Orly Levi-Abukasis. If they really solve social problems (which no one else undertakes to solve), and do not interfere in foreign policy, their “leftism” will not be practical. And finally, Lapid with generals may turn minor partners of the coalition.
If Lieberman also wants to turn socially left, he can do it as the Netanyahu government partner.
- 6.The practical conclusion from the above is as follows: unfortunately or fortunately, Netanyahu now has no alternative in the role of prime minister. Neither Ayelet Shaked nor Lieberman can replace him. I have already mentioned above “Kakhol Laban”, this freshly baked party should spend a lot of time in opposition, after which it will become clear how stable this phenomenon is. It is worth remembering the fate of the party Kadima, and its predecessors. Such artificial parties did not last long.
However, there is one more possibility that I consider to be the best for the people of Israel: after the election, Beni Ganz will offer Lapid to cancel the rotation agreement, because they still will not be able to form a government, so the agreement will become meaningless. Lapid will have to recognize the leadership of Ganz, which is indeed more popular. If Lapid refuses, then Ganz will be able to «disconnect» from Lapid and as a separate party enter the Netanyahu government. Then he will be able to bring real benefits to the people of Israel as Minister of Defense.
If we consider the specific interests of the “Russian street” that really need to be defended, then there are at least two “Russian” politicians in Likud (although more is needed). Now Lieberman has three of them, including Lieberman himself. Investigations and arrests turned Israel Beitenu (“Our Home Israel”) into the Kele Beitenu Party (“Our Home Prison”). Yes, the «Russian» party is necessary, but not in such a form as it is now. The ease with which Lieberman went over to another camp (and then, I hope, will return home) is possible only in the absence of democracy within the party.
If Israel Beytenu gets more votes in the next election round, then there will be more “Russian” Knesset members. 25 years after the creation of his party, Lieberman finally awoke that he should represent the “Russian street”, which proved that we are not a temporary, but a permanent phenomenon. Well, better late than never.