Nov 23, 2008

Tzipi Livni and the Haredim

Small parties have seen some success in the past running on an anti-Haredi platform. The greatest of them all was the Shinui party led by Tommy Lapid. They had the greatest of the temporary successes on that platform, but they eventually folded. Some other parties had more limited success, gaining a couple of seats using the haredim as their bashing board, but they all disappeared.

People do not see the Haredim as the threat against the country. You can use the Haredim to scare voters only so much. People are more concerned about other things. The economy and security are clearly greater concerns.

When a candidate has nothing to sell, nothing to offer, they use the haredim as their fallback platform, because it always brings in good press. Tzipi Livni is posturing with a lot of recent anti-haredi chatter. She won't give them this, she won't give them that.

That is all fine and dandy, but at the end of the day, the voters are not going to be inspired and come out to vote on an anti-haredi platform. Those days are behind us, and there are much more pressing concerns today. Does anybody really care that the haredim are not working, when companies are laying employees off right and left and jobs are scarce? When someody sees his pension funds disappearing, and his job possibly as well, does he really think the greatest threat is the haredi who does not serve in the army? When he looks at the growing threat of Iran, does he really think dealing with the haredim will solve anything?

All the recent statements by Tzipi Livni simply attest to the fact that she is a failure and has nothing to offer. She has turned to the last resort of "anti-haredi" rhetoric. She fails to motivate her supporters. Surprisingly the polls are still giving Kadima high returns with mandates in the upper-twenties. Either the polls are wrong, and they will get much less, or I fail to understand why she is using such rhetoric when there are much more pressing issues. Anti-haredi rhetoric can only sustain a party for so long, as people see that a) nothing will change, no matter what the candidate said, and b) they have much greater concerns that are not being dealt with.

Anyway - how ill she avoid giving Shas what they want? According to the pols and analysts, the left wing parties, even with the Arab parties, will only acheive a minority of seats. Meaning even if Livni and Kadima surprise us and pull off a victory over Bibi (it is more likely for Bibi to crash than for Livni to rise), she still will not likely be able to form a government without Shas.

So as Tzipi increases her anti-haredi ranting, you know she is getting more and more frustrated and desperate...


  1. Gotta disagree with you Rafi. I don't think she's posturing as anti-chareidi so much as economically responsible. There's a good op-ed in today's jpost opining how one of the top issues we'll be facing is the economy (we are not immune to the world situation). Standing up to Shas's extortion is a step in the right direction.

    As much as I may not agree with her policies, I do respect her for not caving in to Shas.

    I'm hoping that in the next election Likud wins and is able to for a government without these narrow-minded small parties.

    I'd be very happy with raised threshold and eliminated them altogether.

  2. so menachem, you misunderstood me. I am a big-party guy, and am anti the small sectoral parties. I believe they do nothing but harm to the system, and to themselves.

    I do nto criticize for Livni not giving in to Shas' demands. I actually think she did the right thing. But when she then goes and declares how she does not give in to Haredi extortion, and education will not be in haredi hands, she is taking it out of the economic issue, and making it a haredi issue.

    anyway, she offered them almost everything they wanted. The fallout was really on jerusalem, and only partially on the money - and even the money was mostly how it would be divided up. SO to say she did not give in is patently false.

    But anyway, I agree that Shas, UTJ and other similar parties should all disappear and learn to work within the larger parties to get their needs taken care of. But Livni is still posturing on an anti-haredi campaign rather than on a fiscal responsibility campaign.

  3. I think we basically agree. I'm still not sure it's so anti-chareidi. I wouldn't want education in Chareidi hands either.

  4. Livni is playing the hand she was dealt. She failed to form a government plus she has Olmert undermining her policies everytime he opens his mouth.

    By attacking Shas she is painting herself as a strong PM. A PM willing to negotiate with the Palestinians but with the courage to walk away from a bad deal.

    No matter who wins I think Likud and Kadimah will be part of the coalition, forcing Shas to have to compromise in order to join the government.

  5. But anyway, I agree that Shas, UTJ and other similar parties should all disappear and learn to work within the larger parties to get their needs taken care of.

    I agree in theory. Only problem is I dont think anyone would trust the Likud/kadima/labor or any other big party to take care of the issues that are dear to the chareidim.

    Also, if you count shas and utj together as chareidim, with a split among them over small minor issues, they are bigger than Labor. Hard to call that a small party

  6. Rafi, you should get involved in politics or become a political pundit---you'll need a p.r. person to get you booked onto tv and radio and a column in the papers....seriously!!!

  7. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  8. my husband and I read a fascinating article in The Economist last year that basically went out of its way to state the miracle that is the state of Israel, but also gave a very somber view of its future.

    Did you know that Israel is the only country IN THE WORLD where a growing minority actively advocate not working? What will happen when they are the majority? This is not my grandmother's Polish Shtetl people (well, they actually worked there), this is a modern country.

    Last time I checked, you cannot have a vibrant first world economy when so many of your citizens refuse to participate in the process, yet demand benefits that may just bankrupt you.

    If I read that article, I wonder if Tzipi Livni did too.

    Also, re: allowing smaller interest groups into larger parties. That didn't turn out too well for the moderate Republicans, did it? Last time I checked, they felt hijacked by the religious right. Sarah Palin (who i am a fan of) scared many Reagan Democrats away.

  9. MRSRBS:

    "my husband and I read a fascinating article in The Economist last year "

    reference please

  10. Lion of Zion,

    I don't understand your question. Are you asking what my comments have to do with the post? Are you asking who or what The Economist is or where you can find this article? I don't get it.

    In any case, my husband picked up a copy last year and lo and behold this article was front and center. It was quite an eye opener. I had never really thought about it in that context before.

  11. MrsRBS: I think LOZ was asking if you remember the issue date or something like that. He probably would like to read it as well.

  12. OH (smacking my head), sorry I don't...sometime around this time last year.


  13. LOZ -
    i think I found April, The Economist had a supplement marking Israel's 60th birthday. I can't seem to find the exact article, but the articles I did find :In this special report

    * Israel six decades on
    * Insecure security
    * The army and the people
    * Economic miracles and mirages
    * Disparate Israeli Jews
    * Regrouping settlers
    * The Arab fifth
    * A political fix
    * The next Zionist revolution

    look it up...


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