Feb 17, 2014

Should the Haredi community pursue the votes of the extremists?

The big focus on the Haredi side of the Bet Shemesh elections seems to be can the extremists, Neturei Karta and others, be persuaded to vote, against their normal rules and tradition. In this past week, there have been a number of articles in the Haredi media - both print and online, and it has been the topic of conversation on the Haredi radio shows.

As I have said before, I personally feel there is nothing wrong with the extremists voting in the elections, should they want to participate. That being said, I think it would be wrong for them to break with their beliefs and tradition. I also do to expect them to, especially because they consider the haredi community in Israel to be just as much of a chilul hashem as the secular community in Israel.

Sure, they might be able to get away with calling it "horaat sha'a" and say it is just a one-time event, but if they find an excuse this time, they surely know they will lose their grip on their followers and people will later find more excuses to break with tradition. That's just the way it works.

But, if they want to vote, if they decide that it is in their best interests, if they can be persuaded to vote, no problem here.

What I find more interesting about this issue is that the Haredi community normally disassociates itself from the extremists, saying things like we are not like them, we don't have to answer for them, don't hold us responsible for their violence, we have no connection to them, they harm us as much or even more than they do the general community.... for them to now pursue the support of the Neturei Karta and extremist community would be strange. Why would they want to be beholden to this group of extremists and owe them favors and support later? If the haredi community really pursues this connection to the extremist community, all the answers and excuses writing them off will no longer work.


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8 comments:

  1. Weren't deals made to get the extremists' votes for Abutbol 5 years ago? It seems to me there were promises made for participation and they got it then. It can't be a hora'at sha'a twice...

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    1. I remember there was talk about it, but I dont remember if they actually decided to and went to vote for him...

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  2. I have a better question -- when 8 year old girls were harassed and spit on in 2011 by these SAME extremists, why did Mayor Abutbul not simply WALK the terrorized girls to school ???? With all of Abutubul's crying about people not liking him because he is 'haredi,' if he had simply WALKED the girls to school (any NORMAL mayor would have done this !!!!) then he would have won by a significant margin. But we see where his sympathies are ....... NOTE -- the problem is NOT with someone who is haredi, but with someone who things being 'haredi' is more important than simple derech eretz.

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    1. No the problem is with a mayor who cannot stand up against extremists which 90% of the city does not support. And in a TV interview Mayor Abutbol said that he didn't intervene in any way in the Goloventzitz controversy because it is a commercial venture. Our city does not need fires on its hills and an octogenarian thrown down his front steps and to have our mayor wash his hands of it because "someone is making a profit."

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  3. Wait a minute? I thought it was their representatives that voted using the forged teudot zeut so they would not be seen voting, yet have their vote counted? Sort of having your cake and eating it. If they do decide to vote, I imagine it would be a waste of time for Eli Cohent o try to get their vote? but if Abutbul now claims he is a Zionist, then I just don't see how the extremists can vote for him. Also if Abutbul likes to say that he distances himself from the extremists, how can he now be trying to get their vote?

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  4. "If the haredi community really pursues this connection to the extremist community, all the answers and excuses writing them off will no longer work."

    They already do this in so many ways, it just doesn't matter to add another driller to the boat. Look at what happened in Elad - Deri complained that it was the Clal Chasidai that frauded the vote for mayor but he was such a tzaddik not to pursue it in court. Well, it's only because the Clal Chasidai did the same thing here and it was to the benefit of Shas.

    The boat is sinking - get off and vote for someone who can save it!

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