Nov 5, 2006

today's ruckus

There were actually a number of them today. There was the ongoing Haredi violence protesting the gay parade. There was the Haredi stoning of a few buses today in Beit Shemesh to protest the lack of a seperation between the sexes on the bus going through their neighborhood. There was the review of the Rabin rally that took place last night and the fallout of what is seen as the left-wing co-opting Rabin's "legacy" and memorial and excluding any religious and/or right wing.

And then there was Avigdor Lieberman making some statements about the Arabs in Israel. He basically said that Israel needs to get rid of the Arabs and compared the situation to the split of Cyprus between the Greeks and the Turks. He said while it might be difficult durng the process, the end result has been peaceful and successful and would like to replicate that here in Israel. He basically is in favor of a swap of sorts delineating the Arabs/Palestinians and the Israelis.

That created a ruckus. Everybody in the government with him criticized him and his statements and denounced it. Some called for him to be removed from government. Some called for Olmert to tell him off and bring him in line with government policy.

I do not understand what the big huff is all about. Just last week he was not part of the government coalition because of his beliefs that he mentioned today. he was brought into the government with everybody knowing exactly what he believes and what policy he wishes to push. Now they are shocked by his statements? Labor party members who voted to sit with him in government are shocked by what he said? Where were they last week when they voted to participate with him in goverance? What does Olmert mean when he said, "Avigdor speaks for nobody but himself"? After all, he is part of the ruling government? Does he really only speak for himself? Does the fact that Olmert brought him in to government not mean Olmert approves and validates of his opinions, at least on a certain level?

Even mroe than that though is this. Why is what he said so bad and reprehensible to these people? Did Ariel Sharon not carry out almost exactly what Lieberman advocates? Sharon's rallying cry was, "אנחנו כאן והם שם" "We will be here and they will be there". His whole idea was to separate Arab and Israeli and therefore uprooted more than 8000 Jews from their homes (what Lieberman proposes is actually more humane than what Sharon did. The 8000 residents of Gush Katif were uprooted and left to rot, the Arabs under Liebermans plan would be treated well and there would be land swaps and transferrence of homes). Sharon did that and had the support of all the people criticizing Lieberman. Why is his plan racist when Sharon's plan was honorable and worthy?

Was this government not formed on the exact same basis of more realignement and uprooting Jews from their homes? How can any member of this government or anybody else further left criticize Lieberman when they were planning to do the exact same thing?


  1. I take those busses...that's really frightening. The inter-city busses are supposed to be very safe. I guess even the suburbs outside of Yerushalayim aren't immune to the insanity.

  2. Are not the children of Ismael as numerous as the dust of the earth and the stars in the sky?
    Live and let live.

  3. I cannot ever get a straight answer to this question. What exactly is the heter to be mazik a bus, possibly injure or even kill a passenger or bystander, all for the sake of a made up minhag that is tied into tznius. I have no problem with protesting or lobbying, but Hezek - isn't that an issur di'oraysa? Where are the Rabbonim, telling these people to stop, or are they part of the stone throwers? Where is R' Elyashiv with a macha'a against this?

  4. shaya g.:

    this unfortunately is not a new story. only the setting and spark are. when i was younger i stayed with my grandparents in sanhedria meruchevet and i remember that the popular shabbat afternoon activity up the road was to stone cars driving through on shabbat.

  5. every right wing leader who has ever been in a position of influence in government has either moderated his views or kept silent. sharon is only the most recent example.

    i think the expectation was that lieberman too would shut up once he was given his title. he is just trying to show that he is not beholden to kadimah even though he sits in their government.

    the real test of his termination and his dedication to his principles will be when he becomes prime minister.

  6. tnpr - that is correct..

    art - We Jews have been happy with Live and Let Live for about 58 years now, for the most part. The Arabs make the trouble for us and that is why a solution is needed (though that is from my viewpoint, from their viewpoint, we came to Palestine and made trouble so it is our fault, but they can blog about their viewpoint)

    shaya - true and I chose not to write about that because it is all obvious and I have written about their violence and stupidities many times in the past. I did not feel like writing about that right now. Maybe another day. It was a side point in this post, the main point being the issue of Lieberman.

    Ari - you make a good point. He might be just floating a trial balloon to see what happens... but that is from his aspect. From the aspect of the rest of the government, they have nothing to complain about considering they decided to sit with him knowing his views and opinions, and considering they supported it when it was dealing with the Jews.

    The punchline which I forgot to include is that it is ok to the world and the left when Jews are thrown out of their homes but not when Arabs are

  7. "The punchline which I forgot to include . . ."

    and don't forget that it is ok (apparently from israelis' perspective as well) to have MKs who visit a hostile country and give encouragement to the enemy but not ok to have MKs who want to kick those MKs out of the kenesset.

  8. Ari - very true

    Yaak - that is a good one but happened the day after my post (so it would have had to say "tomorrow's ruckus")

  9. rafi -

    Haryy posted about the stone throwing issue here titled "another rides the bus' or something like that.

  10. Perhaps Olmert is being devious using the divide and rule motif. By bringing in Lieberman, he strenghtens Kadima's coalition and gets the spotlight taken off himself


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