Thursday, March 26, 2015

Nissan Miracles, Netanyahu and the Charedim: Ending a Two Year Estrangement by RaP

Guest post by RaP

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is a very interesting man. He is the only person to serve as prime minister of Israel four times. His name is also unique. The original family name was Milikowsky and his ancestors include famous Lithuanian rabbis. The Hebrew family name itself means "God Gave" or a "Giving God" as if somehow God has chosen this person to channel something important not just to the Jewish and Israeli people, but to the world at large. It was fascinating to watch recently as hundreds of non-Jewish political leaders in the United States looked up to him as a voice not just for Israel on the world stage but for the Western World as it is faces unprecedented challenges from an aggressive Islamic and Arab world bent on world conquest by means if a global Jihad. Only the famous World War Two British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has, as Netanyahu has, spoken three different times to a joint session of the US Congress.

Netanyahu is not a perfect man, far from it, he has gone through and survived many personal and political failures. It is not even clear how truly Jewishly religious he is. While he is always depicted as being respectful of Orthodox Jews and Judaism, in his personal and family life he certainly is not a model of what Torah-true Judaism requires of its adherents.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu has always shown a great affinity and insight into how to ally himself with the Charedi, Sefardic and Chasidic worlds, as his benefactor and mentor Prime Minister Menachem Begin did to his great success. When Netanyahu served as Israel's ambassador to the United Nations first gaining fame, he went to visit the last Lubavitcher Rebbe in Crown Heights. There are famous videos of him standing on line to talk with the late Lubavitcher Rebbe and no doubt like many other politicians he spent quality time there as well. When Netanyahu first ran for the prime ministership of Israel he was promoted and supported by the famous Lubavitch Gutnick family from Australia that poured money into his election coffers. The Charedim were always a trusted part of his various governments.

Yet, two years ago, something very bizarre happened when for the first time, Netanyahu was forced to cut loose his usual Charedi partners and allied himself with Lapid of the secular anti-Charedi Yesh Atid party. That union did not end well as Netanyahu found out the hard way when Lapid started to plot to oust Netanyahu, whereupon Netanyahu struck first and fired Lapid, bringing down his own coalition, and heading to new elections, that has now seen the picture come full-circle, with the Charedim being among the top promoters and allies of Netanyahu once more. No surprise really, because the rate of secularization and assimilation into a totally gentile and anti-religious mentality especially by the Labor and leftist parties has proceeded at a rapid pace. Charedim can only hope to find allies now in the right-wing camps.

So here we are, Erev Pesach 5775, with the most cooperative and mature allies of Netanyahu being the Charedi parties UTJ and SHAS acting very statesmanlike and patiently waiting for the new government to be formed and sworn in. This is coming as a very rude awakening and shock to the anti-Torah elements in all the parties. Within the Likud there are grumbles that they want more cabinet seats as everyone wants to be a VIP with a front-row seat in the Knesset, while in those parties that have already officially informed President Rivlin of Israel that they are with Netanyahu, amazingly each one wants to be a "Defense Minister" and a "Foreign Minister" and a "Finance Minister" seeing only themselves and forgetting that in a COALITION government ministries and important posts have to be given to EVERY party (yes, even to Charedim if they are part of the coalition) and that not everyone can get all the top posts, because the price for retaining allies in a coalition is to give them the just political rewards they have earned.

Naftali Bennett of the Bayit Yehudi party even still wants to be the "Minister of Religion/s" little realizing that his days as the "religious one" at Netanyahu's side are now history since others such as the members of UTJ and SHAS are in no mood for games and will treat what goes on under the rubric of a "Religious Affairs Ministry" as deadly serious business that cannot be left in the hands of amateurs and opportunists.

There is too much at stake such as removing the ridiculous "criminal" penalties for religious boys who are yeshiva students; stop interfering with the appointment of Dayanim and the running of Batei Din; stop the inroads of Reform; not meddling in the affairs of the Chief Rabbinate and its functions serving the people of Israel; allowing the full practice of Orthodox Judaism in the army and the Israeli workplace; finding ways to limit the pro-secular bias and activism of the Israeli Supreme Court; dealing with the over 300,000 émigrés from the former USSR who are not Halachic "Jews"; ensuring funding for Charedi Yeshivas and educational institutions that were mercilessly cut; that Charedi society receives the same social welfare benefits of all Israelis; removing and burying once and for all the absurd slogan of "shivyon banetel" ("sharing the burden") that demonizes Charedim; making secular society aware that they have as much an obligation to study Torah as they demand of religious Jews to "integrate" into Israeli society and much, much more. Yet so few seem to have the maturity to realize this as they jockey for the prestige of being top honchos with Volvos.

But one thing is obvious to all, and to their great credit the Charedi parties realize this all too well, that the time for playing games is over. There are too many dangers facing the Jews in Israel and worldwide. Not just in France and Russia, but in the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, and the United States which have all seen a steep rise in vicious anti-Semitism and massive efforts to destroy Israel economically through the "BDS" ("boycott, divestment, sanctions") campaigns, and the constant military threats through Hamas, Hezbola, ISIS and Iran and many other cut-throats plotting Israel's demise. There is just too much for the Jewish people to face up to in and outside of Israel, to play political games of "mine" that suits children, something that Israeli leaders must face up or the consequences could be severe.

Let us hope and pray that Netanyahu will continue to get and take the valuable guidance and support from the Charedi parties who are guided by their Torah sages and who will hopefully bring HKB"H's Blessings to all of Israel and the Jewish People and the World.

Wishing everyone a Chag Pesach Kosher VeSameach and may the Nissim ("miracles") of the month of Nissan continue and culminate with the ultimate Redemption, Amen!


  1. What is the basis for your statement that Begin was a benefactor of and mentor to Netanyahu?

  2. All of RaP's posts are interesting! Every single one!

  3. Good question, and I admit that it can also be said that it is not so clear.

    It is in the political dynastic sense of "one 'begat' the other" in political science and history. They are all part of the same political Israeli right-wing dynasty and history. Binyamin Netanyahu's father Ben Tzion was a well-known disciple of Zev Jabotinsky the founder of right-wing "Revisionist Zionism" and so was Menachem Begin who later, with Arik Sharon, founded and headed the Likud block that Binyamin Netenyahu took over and still leads. It was Begin's hawkish Defense Minister Moshe Arens during 1983 to 1984 (also Minister without Portfolio from 1984 to 1988 and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1988 to 1990) with and during the tenure of Begin's colleague-in-arms from the Irgun and Lechi days right-winger Yitzchak Shamir as Prime Minister (first term from 1983 to 1984) who chose and promoted Binyamin Netanyahu as Israel's chief UN ambassador from 1984 to 1988 launched Binyamin Netanyahu's fame. It is not a "direct line" but without Jabotinsky there is neither a Menachem Begin nor a Ben Tzion Netanyahu. And without Menachem Begin there is neither an Arik Sharon nor a Moshe Arens and his protege Binyamin Netanyahu. Binyamin Netanyahu is more pragmatic and he has always had good relations with the right-wing socialist Shimon Peres (a protege of David Ben Gurion) as well, which would explain why he is open to political alliances with the non-rightists.

    In politics as in life nothing is ever simple. But your question is excellent and you do make a good point. Thank you!

  4. All of RaP's posts are unreadably long! Every single one!

  5. Cheer up! Be happy! Chag Sameach! Enjoy life! Some Charedi-secular "cooperation" Besimcha in action:

  6. Enjoy this even more "authentic" version, true Chasiddisha Simcha Mamash, that I personally love and enjoy so much!! Good Yom Tov!!!:


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