He just doesn’t get it, does he?

The Times of Israel is exposing the apparent pain of Eli Yishai and Shas at the possibility of being left out of the ruling coalition:


You can read the whole piece here. My interest was first sparked by this:

The likely outgoing interior minister also launched a blistering attack on Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett, saying the alliance between the respective leaders of the Yesh Atid and Jewish Home parties was forged solely with an eye toward “harming the world of Torah.”

I don’t believe that anything in the Yesh Atid or Jewish Home approach is about harming the world of Torah. It may harm the self-interested world of Shas, but that – despite whatever they bleat – is something completely separate.

If there’s a connection between Yesh Atid and Jewish Home, it is a connection about wanting to do their best for the Jewish People. All the Jewish People; not just the ultra orthodox, or the orthodox, or the conservative, or the traditional, or the reform, or the secular, or the rich, or the poor. All the Jewish People.

Anyone with a bit of common sense and objectivity, seeing the policies of the parties, the pronouncements of their leaders, and the (frankly) stunning speeches by Yair Lapid and Ruth Calderon, is probably going to come to the conclusion that Eli Yishai has lost the plot. He comes across as a kid who has thrown his rattle out the pram.

Then there’s this:

Yishai said that the insistence on conscripting the ultra-Orthodox reflected the fact that Bennett and Lapid “don’t understand that change must be effected with respect… not by exclusion, polarization and blacklisting.” Yesh Atid and Jewish Home would turn Israeli society “from a society in disagreement into a divided society,” he lamented, calling it “odd” that they were seeking to “impose” rather than cooperate on “momentous changes” for the ultra-Orthodox community.

Eli Yishai doesn’t get it.

I would like to know the last time Shas had respect for anyone but themselves.

I would like to know how a haredi draft is about “exclusion, polarization and blacklisting” because it is, of course, the exact opposite.

I also dare to suggest that the vast majority of Israelis do not see it as “odd” that the Yesh Atid and Jewish Home want to impose a solution about conscripting the ultra-Orthodox. Instead, they see it as a necessity to share the burden. And if, in sharing the burden, Shas and company find themselves divided from society, hell mend them. And it is a dreadful indictment on Shas and those of a similar no-haredi-draft position, that there may be a necessity for “momentous changes” to achieve something approaching equality!

I recommend that Eli Yishai and Shas have a good long, hard look at themselves in the mirror. They are, after all, the party whose former leader Aryeh Deri – now number two – was convicted of taking $155,000 in bribes while serving as Interior Minister, and given a three-year jail sentence in 2000. What moral fiber do you think Shas has, having let Deri back in? What respect is due to the party that welcomes back – and at such high office – a convicted bribe taker? What kind of example have Shas set?  If they wanted to do the right thing, they should get rid of Deri, and demand there be a haredi draft. After all, they do want to share the burden, don’t they?

My criticism is not directed at all Shas supporters, nor all haredim, nor all ultra-Orthodox. It’s directed at those who – for whatever excuse is given – do not want the burden of national service to be shared. For example, the Arab citizens of Israel should serve – if not in the army, in one of the many civil support programs.  We all take; we all should give.