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Apr 20, 2021

anger at Smotritch

There has been a lot of criticism and anger, or as they say, shade being thrown at Betzalel Smotritch and Itamar Ben Gvir for their strong position against a coalition relying on the Arab party Raam led by Mansour Abbas. 

Smotritch and Ben Gvir's strong position has led to difficulties in coalition negotiations along with yesterday's embarrassing results in Knesset to the Right bloc.

Smotritch and Ben Gvir are an ideological party. They are not a ruling party that has to be flexible with its partners and positions. Anyone who voted for them did so very much because of this style of their party. If they wanted a wishy washy right wing party that was flexible on "right" issues, they could have voted Bennett or Likud instead of Smotritch. They voted Smotritch because this is the style and approach they support. 

Anybody upset at Smotritch and Ben Gvir for not being flexible and thereby hurting the Right is in la la land. I have no idea what they were expecting. This is the modus operandi of Smotritch and Ben Gvir. They are not going to change their beliefs, ideals and positions just because it is hurting the Right bloc. Without their positions, they aren't any different than Bennett or Netanyahu and can shut their parties and merge with Likud or Yamina.

More ironic is that ideological parties like UTJ (and Shas) have come out publicly most critical of Smotritch - even harsher than the Likud. UTJ has spoken very harshly about Smotritch's misplaced priorities, with 3 main points of criticism:
1.  lack of gratitude for Netanyahu working to get them past the threshold
2. having "stolen" votes from UTJ and then not supporting the Right and UTJ's position because of Abbas
3. not recognizing the bigger picture of being able to form a right wing government but sticking instead to their misplaced ideals.
4. prioritizing the Land of Israel (and not sitting with Arabs) over the Torah of Israel (ie by not compromising and allowing the government to form the Torah of Israel is being forsaken because a left wing anti-torah government will be formed)

This is largely disappointing.

My main disappointment in UTJ for this is that they are an idealistic party as well. UTJ would never compromise its ideals "for the greater good" or to accomplish something for someone else. Would UTJ say sure, draft the yeshiva bochurim because it will help us form a government? cut the yeshiva budgets, as doing so would help the Right form a government. We will agree to teach core curriculum studies in our yeshivas as doing so would help the coalition.

They would never do this. As an idealistic party, and a strong one at that, how dare they demand another party give up its ideals for the greater good. They would never be willing to and should not expect Smotritch to either.

Also, Smotritch did not steal UTJ votes. They mostly got back some of the votes that UTJ took from Smotritch in the previous elections. UTJ campaigned among the Chardal communities that normally support Smotritch. When it looked like Smotritch would not pass, the Chardal vote largely went to UTJ. Also the Ben Gvir vote. Now that people were fairly confident Smotritch and Ben Gvir would pass the threshold, they went back to voting for their natural party. Smotritch doesnt owe them anything. As if anyone owes anyone else anything for campaigning and winning over voters. Once again, UTJ shows that they think they own certain votes and voters, and anyone who persuades those voters to vote elsewhere owes a debt of gratitude for them. And, UTJ didnt donate those votes. Campaigns were held, voters were persuaded, and that's it.

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1 comment:

  1. I would love to see them cooperate with Raam. In reality they don't have much differences. Both of them are conservative religiously, both are against LGBTs. And in the long run, real peace will only come when two things happen. One, when the left sit with the right together in government like Bennett with the lrft, and when the two extremes Ben Gvir and the Abbas can lesrn to live together. That is exactly what happened in Northern Ireland, when sinn Fein, the party of the terrorist Catholic separatist IRA sat with Rev Ian Paisley of the anti Catholic Protestant Union with Britain party.


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