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Aug 27, 2008

will there be unity among the Haredi parties?

Somebody sent to me an article from a recent English edition of Mishpacha magazine, in which the editor recommends that in order to strengthen the Haredi political strength in any upcoming elections, it is important come to an agreement to work as a unified force.

The editor spoke with Rabbi Ravitz from UTJ who agreed but does not see any such working agreement in the near future. However, he did say it is possible and necessary to work together, and present a united front, on issues that concern all the Haredi parties, such as child allowances and other social issues.

A united party, and even a united front on more than a couple of small issues, is really just a pipe dream. It is something that I do not see as being possible.

Each of the parties does not trust the other as being capable of looking out for the greater, joint, good, and working for the concerns of each other. Without that respect and trust, the unity will never happen. Also, politicians have egos, and no party will agree to give up its independence, making the pols within lesser (even if just imagined) than any other politician.

Just this week, MK Moshe Gafni of UTJ attacked Shas. He attacked them for accusing ashkenazim of racism. He claims that the Litvishe schools of Degel HaTorah are the only Haredi schools that take kids who are sfardi. The kids of the elite sfardim, the heads of Shas, do not want to go to the Maayan HaChinuch schools of Shas, so they are the racists. They come begging us to take them, and we do. The hassidic schools do not take them. Only we do. And then they accuse us of being racists.

Only in Shas does the leadership pass from father to son. They come to us to make deals to ensure the "sons of" [a certain Rabbi who was not directly named] will be given the Chief Rabbi positions of Yerushalayim and Modiin Ilit. We do not do that. Rav Shach never came to us asking to ensure a certain job for a grandchild. None of the gedolim ever came to us to arrange jobs for their children.

Why do I not agree to unity? Because what does unity mean? That none of us will enter a coalition if the concerns of all three parties (i.e. Shas, Aguda and Degel) are not met. What are the concerns of Shas that would prevent us from joining a coalition? That certain rabbonim get certain appointments around the country. For that we should not enter a coalition? I have to join that kind of unity?

Does anybody really think unity is possible when there is such a lack of trust between them? It is a shame because with a unified front, with concern for the greater issues and not the petty ones, with the concern less for the sectoral issues (not completely, obviously they need to work for those issues, as that is why their voters vote for them) and more for the country, the religious parties could accomplish so much more. more on the national front and more in the sectoral issues as well.

but it looks like it is not going to happen in the near future.


  1. more interestingly...did you hear that last night Kochav Nolad 6 was won by a former chareidi from Mea Shearim???


  2. I have to check that. I have not paid attention to the kochav nolad. I saw something in the paper about the winner being announced, but did not read the articles.. I will check it out

  3. This is primarily a reflection of the fact that the religious parties in Israel are more sectarian parties. That is to say that they are concerned with supporting their institutions and constituents, rather than with supporting Torah. Of course, they will rightly point out that their institutions are supporting Torah. But you know that push comes to shove, it is support for the affiliated institutions that is the highest priority. How many would take a cut for their institutions to increase the amount of Torah instructions in the public schools?

    And this is not only a characteristic of the chareidi parties.

  4. Mike - I agree with you on both points

  5. And then we wonder why Moshiach is not yet here. Achdus is more than a catch phrase. It has to be lived by the people representing, supposedly, Derech HaTorah.

  6. what are you kvetching about - there is unity - they all agree to fight with each other!


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