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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Senior Haredi journalist calls for boycotting the 'territories'

I'm sorry but this goes too far. A senior Haredi journalist who writes for HaModia (the newspaper of Agudath Yisrael, which appears in both Hebrew and English) under a pen name, has suggested that Haredim boycott products of towns in Judea and Samaria.
Gold then moves on to address the economic concerns of the businesses in yishuvim ['settlements' CiJ], facing a growing boycott of their goods in the international marketplace, with a growing number of nations unwilling to purchase goods originating over the Green Line. The continued use of these products by the chareidim is the “oxygen lifeline” for these companies, Gold believes, for at home there is no concern regarding the origin of the product vis-à-vis the Green Line, at least not among the chareidim. In Tel Aviv for example, the settlers realize they cannot market their goods. Now if the chareidim decide to launch a boycott against products from yishuvim or from the dati leumi tzibur [national religious public. CiJ], it will only be a matter of time until some of these companies fold as a result.
Calling for such a move is not an easy task for much of this community are persons who are shomer Shabbos and mitzvos [Sabbath observers who keep the commandments. CiJ], and they too are probably dissatisfied with Bennett, but such a decision should be made when the serious decisions surrounding the chareidi community are made.
If such a decision is made, one that has proven itself effective time after time, even a partial boycott or an unofficial boycott, the impact would be realized in a very short time period. The organized chareidi consumer might is known and several large companies can show their scars from such actions in the past.
Sorry, but this is way overboard. If you want to expose how much it costs the government for keeping each town in place, because the public has a right to know, that might (emphasis might - not would) be justifiable.

If you want to show that the budgets of the national religious yeshivas are no less than those of the Haredi yeshivas that probably would be justifiable.

But to attempt to take economic revenge on an entire public - many of whom probably didn't even vote for Bennett - and to do something that is likely to perpetuate a schism among observant Jews is not something that anyone should take upon themselves lightly, and I believe that 'Gold' has been far too hasty to do so. No Haredi yeshiva has had its budget cut and no Haredi yeshiva boys have been sent to the army against their will. When and if that God forbid happens, we can discuss with the Torah sages how to respond.

I wonder with which rabbi(s) 'Gold' consulted before writing this piece. Since the Haredi world (of which I largely count myself a part) always consults with Daath Torah (Torah authority) before making a significant move (if only...), I think 'Gold' should be asked which rabbi permitted him to suggest such a thing.

Again, on this one, if the comments get out of hand, I will shut them off.

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At 8:30 PM, Blogger great Unknown said...

a) I'm not certain if 'Gold' should be identified by his real name, but it is readily available.

b) Your 'if only' is probably close to the truth. I have been privy to many cases of supposed chareidi spokespeople speaking first and then trying to find rabbinical cover

c) It should also be noted that Gafni has also made noises that his faction is willing to sell out the misnachalim. Somehow I don't think that he included Beitar, Ramat Shlomo, etc.

d) From personal observation, if the Aguda actually adopted this officially, they would quickly find out how little political power they actually have among Orthodox Jews. I suspect the blowback from the OU chevra, Chabad, among others, would be massive. Remember that boycotts work in both directions.

e) Then, of course, there is the most decisive factor in hashkafic psak: what would the donors say?

f) Which all reminds me of a bitter joke I heard during the original Oslo capitulation: Israel was willing to cede Yerushalyim to Arafat Y"Sh, on the condition that he also take Meah Shearim. Arafat refused.

At 11:36 PM, Blogger Eliana said...

Well, I think the entire religious Jewish world inside Israel has been blindsided by this National Religious Camp party leader's personal connection to a relentless enemy of the Haredim inside Israel.

None of us are going to come away from this unscathed.

As someone who lives beyond the green line, I can't help but feel that the Haredim are especially vulnerable to whatever might be coming and we should give them a bit of room to be upset (even overboard upset) for awhile and do whatever else we can do to help them.

Who knew that one person could rip the rugs out from under so many people so quickly. We need to help the Haredim get through this since apparently the enemy of the Haredim doesn't have it in for the rest of us quite yet.


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