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Monday, March 04, 2013

Netanyahu tricked the Haredim into putting themselves outside the coalition?

If this story at Arutz Sheva is correct, the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) - Yesh Atid pact between Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid came into being because of things Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Haredi Shas party. And if it's correct, Netanyahu is about to sell the Haredim down the river, as he may have planned to do all along.
"During the election campaign, in the course of the last months and weeks, we received ill winds from the Likud, which said that there is no intention to include us in the government. We were expressly told this, from within Netanyahu's bureau," the senior figures said.
"In our distress, we turned to one of the heads of Shas, Aryeh Deri. This plea was made five weeks before the elections, and after the elections as well. We begged for full cooperation but Deri refused to meet with us. There were countless telephone calls, direct and indirect. Deri told us that he had checked with the Prime Minister's Bureau and he was told, there, that that there is no intention of adding Bayit Yehudi to the coalition. 'Bayit Yehudi's place will be in the Opposition,' Deri was told outright by Netanyahu's bureau."
According to the senior Bayit Yehudi figures, Deri and his men told Bayit Yehudi – "Since we were told specifically that Netanyahu has no intention of adding you to the coalition, we have no desire to create a religious bloc with you. What do I gain by an alliance with Bayit Yehudi? That is not my war to fight," Deri said.
Two days after the elections, Netanyahu told Deri again that Bayit Yehudi will not be in the government, the senior figures said. "Deri told us, 'I cannot solve your distress vis-à-vis the prime minister,' and since then he did not get back to us. Deri basically threw us under a bus. So we had to turn to Yair Lapid. Once the hareidim heard that a 'pact' was formed with Lapid, they asked to meet us. Now they are creating the false picture that we abandoned them. We regret the lies and half-truths that they have been spreading in the last few days. This is the true story."
This story on the Hebrew side of the website claims that Shas has admitted that it's true. The story quotes a report in the Hebrew daily Maariv that says that in their meeting with Netanyahu on Sunday, the Shas leaders complained to Netanyahu "[W]e didn't make a bloc with Jewish Home so as not to anger you, and because of that we will now remain in opposition. Our rabbis told us 'don't make a mistake [by forming a bloc with Jewish Home] because this is the way that the Prime Minister wants it,' and look where we are because of that."

It could be that Netanyahu really did want to keep Jewish Home in opposition because of his wife's personal animosity for Bennett. If so, he has put his wife's feelings ahead of his duty to the country, and he ought to be forced out.

But there's a more insidious interpretation. Netanyahu may have wanted all along to be 'forced' not to have the Haredim in the government because he wanted to pursue the 'secular agenda.'

Jewish Home is now claiming that they will protect the Haredi yeshivoth, thus putting them behind a system in which they don't believe. This is from the first link.
The senior figures deny vehemently that the understandings with Lapid will hurt the Torah world. "There will be no damage to the Torah world. We will not let military police drag yeshiva students from their 'stenders' [the stands, usually wooden, that hold the holy books open in study halls]. We will make sure of that. The Torah world is an eternal and sacred value for us, too."
Maybe they figured out that if there's absolute equality there's no more shortened army service for hesder

One other thing: Shas has to be wondering why they brought Aryeh Deri back. Deri was the party leader in the '90's and the early '00's until he was convicted of bribery and banned from the Knesset for ten years. Deri brought them no more seats than having Eli Yishai as party leader. I'm not convinced that Yishai would have misread the situation as much as the more dovish Deri did (doesn't that sound like Deri's wishful thinking - a coalition between the Haredim and the Left?). And now Deri appears to have thrown away their (and United Torah Judaism's) chance to be in the government.


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At 6:36 PM, Blogger Daniel said...

Bibi now speaking at AIPAC

He looks like he has Bells Palsy

At 10:23 PM, Blogger Chana said...

I doubt Netanyahu is smart enough to pull off a "please don't throw me in to the briar patch" kind of thing. Fact is, plain common sense would indicate that he could gain credit with a significant section of the electorate by making significant changes in the draft exemption policy. What was harder to explain was why he seemed so ready to forgo something so popular.


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