Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Charedim as Catalysts for Political Change in Israel: The Coming Collapse of the Latest Netanyahu Government

Guest Post by RaP
Israel is in a very precarious situation at the present time. Beset by surrounding Arab "states" that either no longer exist or are held together by threads as chaos and civil war reign in their midst, with foreign military intervention by Russia and its allies near Israel's borders, and by a widespread internal insurrection by Israeli Arabs, and with a governing coalition with only a 61 seat majority in a Knesset of 120, if one looks very closely, one sees the cracks in the unstable governing coalition opening up.
The last two plus years of Israeli political life have revolved around the huge growing Charedi population. The prior government was an outright anti-Charedi coalition that set about to change the "status quo" between the religious and secular worlds in Israel. Openly rejecting any Charedi parties from sitting in it, the government went on a "war-footing" against the Charedim. Decrees were promulgated against Charedi Jews cutting off funding to their institutions and communities, threatening them to forcibly sign up for army service, undermining traditional Torah education and institutions, destruction of rabbinical courts and financially strangling the yeshivas.
At the same time, the Arabs seemed to "sense blood" and started a campaign of terrorizing unarmed Israeli citizens who wore any type of Kippa or Yarmulka. Who can forget the kidnapping and murder of the three religious Israel teens that sparked an Israeli invasion of Gaza against Hamas recently, and then the brutal attack against the Charedi rabbis praying at the Har Nof synagogue in the heart of a Jerusalem Charedi neighborhood that sparked so much anger among all Israeli Jews, and many other such acts of terrorism and barbarism directed at any Jews caught off guard.
Soon thereafter, the anti-religious governing coalition collapsed, and quickly in its stead a new governing coalition was put together with all the Charedi parties being included in the new government, commencing a roll-back of the anti-Charedi decrees and edicts. The three major Charedi political parties SHAS, AGUDA, and DEGEL, all got important posts.
But then, recently over this past Sukkos at the end of September, barely six months into its new term, the latest coalition seems to be in trouble judging by current events, although tentative, but clearly indicating the first rumbles before an earthquake
What seems to have triggered this latest political unease and evident in-fighting again likely revolves around the fate of religious Jews in Israel stemming from the preponderance of religious and Charedi Jewish victims of the latest round of Arab violence. Stabbings, stonings and terror are seemingly being directed at the Jewish religious populations in Israel with Charedim fearing for their lives more than most as word leaks out that they are obvious easy targets being that they stand out and are unarmed and do not have military training.

There is also a dimension to the Arab uprising that is evidently directed at the Jewish religious sites such as the Kosel, with the Kosel area now becoming a "fear zone", Kever Rochel is under increased armed guard, Kever Yosef burned down yet again, while Jewish holy places are being claimed as belonging to the Muslims "only" with Israel now on the defensive, all yet again.
There are more political rumblings, as a leading SHAS minister resigns from his position as Minister of Economics, without citing good enough reasons, and in this climate indicating perhaps an act of protest. Another Minister from a non-religious party declares he is willing to resign to make way for the Labor leader to join in, and the Labor leader issues a statement, no not about the "matzav" but rather criticizing the Jewish religious sector!
Jews are being knifed and bombed in the streets of Israel, and its obvious the people are angry and want to be protected and want action, but the government responds by talking about "revoking citizenship" and building more walls which is already a disaster because it makes Israel look like one long "DMZ" line as in North Korea or the hated Berlin Wall. All this is not good and there is a somber mood as if the next big step is being contemplated.
Jews are now under siege and many are nervous to venture outdoors for fear of sudden stabbings. This is no way to live and will have serious political and other consequences as the Jewish public's fear and frustration will force change to happen one way or another.
A house divided against itself cannot stand long and likewise a government that includes Charedim in it but does not swing into action to protect not just Charedi and religious Jews but all Israeli Jews cannot go on for much longer as it loses the faith of its citizens in it to protect them from harm.
And sadly, it would seem that it is not to the Rabbinical or Charedi or Orthodox voices that Netanyahu is turning but yet again he is being pulled in the direction of bringing in members from the Left to prop up his coalition. This cannot go on for much longer as Jewish blood runs in the streets of Israel and one can only conclude that change is coming soon, hopefully for the better, it is only a question of how soon and who will lead it.

May we hear only good news and may the Geulah Sheleimah come very soon!

No comments :

Post a Comment

please use either your real name or a pseudonym.