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Nov 18, 2015

Quote of the Day

If you think we are sitting in a Right-wing government, you are mistaken. When the prime minister supports a Palestinian state, it is not a right-wing government. You demand construction as if Habayit Hayehudi had 30 mandates and the Likud had just 8 mandates.... we have broken the building freeze in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. I caused the prime minister to retract from his statement regarding a unilateral pullback.... but, for God's sake, lower your expectations!

  -- Minister of Education Naftali Bennet, at a meeting with Habayit hayehudi activists

It is good that Bennet is being realistic and demanding realistic expectations from his constituents. He should also, perhaps, give them guidelines as to what is realistic and what their expectations should be.
One thing to consider though is that you do not hear Aryeh Deri or Yaakov Litzman, or Moshe Gafni lowering their demands and telling their constituents to have lower expectations, considering that they are just 6 and 7 mandates respectively. The leaders of the Haredi parties make their demands, they fight to get what they promised their constituents, and they are willing to fight to the end for those issues. They might be bluffing when they keep threatening to vote against the government if this or that demand is not met, but so far nobody has been daring enough to call their bluff.

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  1. There is one major difference between HaBayit HaYehudi and the Haredi parties when it comes to "demands" and "lowering expectations" - HaBayit HaYehudi has its sights set on national issues, the Haredi parties on exclusively Haredi (or Haredi-relevant) issues. Should the State educate Arabs, and how? The Haredim don't care. Bennet is happily the national education minister making that impact. The Haredim can push with all their might about their issues, because they *ARE* the 5 or 6 mandates representing those who care about those issues. HaBayit HaYehudi and most of its consituency don't only want "Temple Mount access for knitted kipot" or "stronger punishments against terrorists who commit crimes against settlers" - their approach and issue is national. The problem is they don't have the mandates to show it.

  2. I think Miriam is right on target. HaBayit Hayehudi, and before them the Mafdal and its iterations, were always ideologically committed to being part of the larger national societal effort. They saw themselves as committed to making a the country work for everyone. The haredi parties remain on the periphery, ally themselves with whomever will answer their demands like old exile shtadlanim, and look out primarily for who they see as their limited constituency. Building the nation isn't their agenda, so they don't have to get along with others or be much concerned about the needs of others.

  3. as in the above theme, the charedi parties don't essentially care about the national enterprise in the sense of the govt should be led by RW or LW ---- they just care that they are either left alone [army] or get what they want [money], and it doesnt matter who is in charge giving them what they want. for intrinsically RW parties, they have no interest in endangering RW rule in Israel , and can't afford to bring down the government for what they believe---just like Republicans not shutting down the government over their policy interests....


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