Apr 28, 2019

Avigdor Lieberman dictates to the Haredi parties based on nostalgia

MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beyteynu) has written an op-ed in Maariv in which describes his memories of growing up with his connection to the Ribnitzer Rebbe and his beautiful memories of how accepting the rebbe was, how he worked to resolve disputes among Jews and bring peace to the community, how he was dedicated to Judaism and spirituality and peace. Beautiful memories laced with nostalgia.

Lieberman then attacks, in the op-ed, the Haredi MKs for being divisive, for causing disputes and argument between sectors and people, for religious coercion, for not bringing religion in a loving way to the people... and then Lieberman explains his positions on the various issues on which he is in direct conflict with those Haredi MKs...

Lieberman has it wrong and he is misunderstanding the role of the Haredi MKs and the parties they represent. The job of the Haredi MKs is not to be the local spiritual mentor to the villagers, nor to be the "big brother" or fatherly figure to which they can turn when they are in need of guidance or a warm shoulder to cry on.

The job of the Haredi parties and MKs is to represent the desires and needs of their constituents who voted them into government, just as Lieberman's job is to represent the needs of the people who voted him into government. The constituents of the Haredi MKs want them to work on their behalf for the sustainability of the yeshiva system, for cheap housing, for increased public Shabbos observance, for increased Jewish tradition in the public sphere, and for other issues.

One can argue and debate if those MKs are doing a good job or not representing their constituents, but it seems their constituents largely think they are doing a good job and have decided to continue giving them the power to represent them.

One can also debate, for some of the reasons mentioned by Lieberman and perhaps others as well, whether religion should be a part of Israeli politics or not, but as long as they are, as long as there is no "separation of shul and State", the Haredi MKs are there not to satisfy the nostalgia of Avigdor Lieberman and other Russian expats but to work on behalf of their constituents for the issues they consider dear to them.

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  1. The job of the Haredi parties and MKs is to represent the desires and needs of their constituents who voted them into government
    There is a tshuva that suggests an individual must vote for the good of the tzibbur (i.e he can't vote for someone who pays him) Worth thinking about

  2. UTJ and Shas voters think they are voting for the good of the tzibbur by voting for these parties. They think that what these parties do is very important for the country. I would even posit that every voter voting for any party is voting for what he or she thinks is best for the general tzibbur

  3. Charedi politicians are not fighting for cheap housing.
    That would mean lower property values, that current homeowners abhor.
    Reference The widow who has two or three apartments that she expects to pay for her children's weddings.


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