Like father, like son?spoken very nicely to that group of Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Jews that I showed you right after the election. But deep down, he's still Tommy's son. And to understand Yair Lapid's real positions, you have to know a little bit about his father, Tommy. This is from a post I did several years ago.
Not everyone has been pleased with the new olim (immigrants). In July 2002, nearly 400 American immigrants arrived in Israel at the height of the 'Palestinian' war against the Jews. What could be more inspiring to a country under siege, and in the throes of a long-term recession, than 400 Jews choosing voluntarily to plight their troth to Israel’s future? These immigrants were not fleeing for their lives, but rather choosing to enter a war zone. Most of them left behind secure jobs to come to a country with unemployment at over 10% and rising.Yair seems to feel the same way. He tells Haredim that they've won enough that they can relax their guard and not worry about being assimilated, rails at how much the country spends on religious education, and yet... (Hat Tip: Shy Guy).
Not surprisingly, their arrival occasioned a great deal of fanfare. But a few days before their plane touched down, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel published an article on Beit Shemesh, the planned destination of many of the immigrants. In that article, then-Shinui leader Tommy Lapid complained that North American aliyah is overwhelmingly religious. He added for good measure, "Quite frankly Israel could do without [religious North American Jews]." (Shinui was an anti-religious Israeli political party).
Lapid subsequently clarified that he did not mean to single out religious North American immigrants. In his opinion, Israel could do without charedi (ultra-Orthodox) immigrants wherever they come from; indeed it could do without the charedim that were already here.
Lapid declared that his political agenda includes making the Reform and Conservative movements – both popular in the United States – equal to orthodox Judaism in terms of state support.State support? As in money? So that's the agenda - take the money from the Haredi yeshivos and build reform and conservative temples all over the country?
Let's go to the videotape. More after the video.
“I want to do everything in my power to ensure the equality between all movements of Judaism in the state of Israel, Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform,” he declared. “In conversions, in budgets, in the eyes of the law. No one can claim ownership over the Jewish God.”
“Small, old, petty politics cannot determine something that is eternal as is the Jewish identity, this is just wrong,” he added.There are other things that concern Lapid.
He also spoke of his determination to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for the creation of an Arab state in Judea and Samaria, a point that he has previously stated is a key condition to his partnership in any coalition.
Failure to separate from the Arab population of Judea and Samaria (Shomron) would mean that Israel ceases to be a Jewish state, he argued.You will note also that Lapid credits the leaders of organizations who have presided over an intermarriage rate in excess of 50% for 'saving the Jewish identity.' SAVING WHAT????
All of which made me wonder about... Naftali Bennett.
Bennett leads a party that until recently was known as the National Religious Party. That party, now known as Jewish Home, is said to have a pact with Lapid that one will not go into the government without the other. In fact, a short while ago, a free newspaper was delivered to my house in which Shas leader Eli Yishai complains that the pact between Jewish Home and Lapid's Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party is 'stronger than he thought.' Really?
The National Religious Party - the group that sees the State of Israel in religious terms - is going to be a part of overseeing the dismantling of the Chief Rabbinate? The National Religious Party, which for 65 years symbolized the role of Orthodox Judaism in the State is now going to vote for funding for conservative and reform temples? And you wonder why Rabbi Ovadia Yosef had such nasty words for Jewish Home during the election (and yes, I heard people say that they would have voted for Jewish Home but for Rabbi Yosef's command not to)?
And you, Eli Yishai, you didn't understand until now why the non-Haredi public is fed up with paying 70% of its income in taxes to support yeshiva students some of whose heads aren't really so into studying Torah after all? You didn't think that the students who work under the table on the side and who are 'carried on the rolls' of yeshivas without ever being there weren't going to come back to bite us?
I know that's not a fair description of all of the yeshiva students or even a majority of them. Most of them - at least most of the ones with whom I come into contact - are very serious about their studies, but even one who is taking money from the State to support his studies and not studying is one too many and reflects poorly on those who are studying seriously.
And so - Eli Yishai, Naftali Bennett and the MK's of United Torah Judaism (who really do take their orders from their rabbis), can we get together and save our society before we end up with Tommy's plan?