The anger by the haredi parties at being left out of the government, has not abated much.
From the Times of Israel:
On Wednesday afternoon, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu read out the details of his new government, prior to a lengthy debate and the eventual swearing in of its ministers, the members of the ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism party demonstrated just how bitterly they resent being left out of the coalition: They got up and walked out of the plenum.
Parliament or play area? Come on guys, get your act together and behave like adults. There are times when a walkout is appropriate, but they are few and far between. This occasion was not one of those times that it was remotely justified.
Over the hours of ensuing debate, they returned to the chamber, and several of them — along with their colleagues from the ultra-Orthodox Shas party — took the opportunity to walk to the podium and denounce a government they variously described as un-Jewish, anti-Jewish, shameful, evil and heartless.
I wonder: does that make those who voted for the parties in the government – like me – “un-Jewish, anti-Jewish, shameful, evil and heartless”?
At the end of the debate, when the Knesset secretary asked each of the 120 MKs to vote “in favor” or “against” the new government, even the most strident opponents of Netanyahu and Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett, such as the Hadash (Communist) MK Dov Hanin or the Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, made do with a simple “against.” Several of the Haredi MKs, though, felt the need to add a little commentary. “Against this evil government,” yelled one. “Against a government that declared war on the Haredim,” shouted another.
UJT’s Moshe Gafni:
…slammed the coalition agreements for outrageously discriminating against the ultra-Orthodox,…What most grieved him and his colleagues, said Gafni, was that they had been “boycotted” — ruled unacceptable, by the Jewish Home and Yesh Atid.
They are upset. They seem to be angry. But when you get to the bottom line, what is their complaint? The democratically elected parties negotiated a government that did not include them. Tough.
They act as if being in government is their right, and it absolutely is not. [Then again, they act as if Judaism is theirs and theirs alone, and it absolutely is not. There’s a trend here…]
But aside from their juvenile behavior and acidic (and, frankly, bigoted) sniping, they are also being hypocritical.
Enter Elazar Stern. This, from Arutz Sheva, is worth repeating in full:
In response to accusations that hareidi parties were being “boycotted” by the new government, MK Elazar Stern (Hatnu’a) said that it was the hareidim themselves who were the boycotters – of their own rabbis who in the past had approved of programs that would encourage hareidim of draft age to join the army.
…Stern, former head of educational programs in the IDF and a member of the Religious Zionist community, accused Litzman and UTJ of hypocrisy. “Who invented the term ‘boycott’ in this context?” he asked when he addressed the Knesset, directing his comments at Litzman.
“I know of numerous rabbis who were boycotted by a large part of the hareidi community,” Stern said. The rabbis, he said, were boycotted and attacked over their support of the Nachal Hareidi IDF program, which provides a “soft landing” for hareidi youth who wish to serve in the IDF, ensuring that they have full access to religious services and are able to serve without compromising their observance.
“They threw rocks at these rabbis and cursed them,” Stern said. “All this for their support of the Nachal Hareidi program.” If UTJ wanted to talk about boycotts, he added, that would be a good place to start.
I’m with Stern on this.
Hopefully, when the smoke clears and the government gets down to business, we will see a program of legislation that is about benefiting in the long run everyone who lives in Israel, regardless of race, creed, color (of skin or kipa!), religion, sexual orientation, status, bank balance, or whatever. If that happens, not only will there be celebrations all round, but people may remember the misplaced barbs of the spoiled children of the haredi political parties. It’s another excellent reason to hope this government succeeds.