August 6, 2013
Sholom Ber Crombie in #892, Crossroads, shleimus ha'Aretz

The prime minister is determined to carve out a place for himself in the annals of history as the one who established the permanent borders of the Jewish state. This will then mark the stage of “turnabout is fair play.” The ultra-Orthodox MKs will become those pursued by their colleagues from the Bayit Yehudi Party, who will beg them to cooperate in all Knesset votes against the Netanyahu government.

Translated by Michoel Leib Dobry

In the very near future, it appears that the Knesset Members from the Bayit Yehudi Party will begin chasing after their fellow parliamentarians from the ultra-Orthodox factions. Prominent representatives within the settler community, including Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel, are keenly aware of this new and unpleasant reality. They have already wasted countless hours, desperately trying to convince wavering chareidi MKs to join the fight. This happened a decade ago during the battle against the expulsion from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. It happened again in the battle against the settlement freeze and the dismantling of Jewish outposts, and it occurred only recently in the fight to save Migron and Amona.

However, all these skirmishes were merely a promo for the real battle facing us now against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The prime minister will now use all means available to advance the “peace talks” and bring forth a new policy initiative for uprooting Jewish settlements and giving away land to the terrorists. Mr. Netanyahu, who shows weakness on every front, is expected to try his luck with the perilous course of submission and surrender through worthless peace agreements. He is determined to etch a place for himself in the annals of history as the one who established the permanent borders of the Jewish state. This will then mark the stage of “turnabout is fair play”: The ultra-Orthodox MKs will become those pursued by their colleagues in the Bayit Yehudi Party, who will beg them to cooperate in all Knesset votes against the Netanyahu government.

It will not take long before this new reality takes hold. Talks began last week in Washington between the Israeli Cabinet minister in charge of diplomatic negotiations and the representatives of the Palestinian Authority. To create the proper environment for this festive ceremony, the prime minister caved in once again. He agreed to release 104 Arab murderers, many with Jewish blood on their hands. This is the price he had to pay for the terrorist leaders to agree to return to the bargaining table. It’s as if the government of Israel had to apologize for trying these murderers and sentencing them to lengthy prison terms as the law mandated. The media calls them “security prisoners” – not murderers tried like any other killer, but “security prisoners” whose crimes have a semblance of justification.

The government of Israel has given paramount importance to the release of these prisoners. The only question revolved around who their victims were. If they were guilty of random acts of bloodshed, they will face the judgment of the criminal justice system like any other lawbreaker. However, if their victims were Jews – men or women, young or old – they merely have to wait until the next prisoner swap to secure their eventual freedom.

Yet, the real story is not just the release of 104 Arab terrorists (may their names be erased). This is merely a temporary diversion from the main issue. The prime minister is planning a massive dismantling of dozens of settlements throughout Yehuda and Shomron, including territorial concessions on a scale far wider than anything proposed before. The essential argument focuses upon whether this includes a return to the pre-June 1967 boundaries, and that speaks volumes about his real intentions. Even if the “Bayit Yehudi” Knesset Members are correct in stating that the government is not discussing a return to “the borders of Auschwitz,” the question speaks for itself. For his part, Mr. Netanyahu is following a most dangerous path. He is prepared to give away more than his predecessor, Ehud Olmert.


No one can come with complaints against the prime minister. He has made his plans quite clear to everyone. Even before the elections, he declared that he would be the prime minister to establish a Palestinian state ch”v, and he was determined to reach a “peace agreement.” Only one party refused to face this reality, choosing instead to become one of Netanyahu’s main coalition partners. The representatives of the “Jewish Home” Party, which harvested tens of thousands of votes based on its commitment to protect Eretz Yisroel, charged blindly into Bibi’s open arms. They would not allow the facts to confuse them, preferring to close their eyes and their ears as they ran breathlessly to join the government.

Less than six months after the formation of the governing coalition, the disillusionment has already set in. Suddenly, these politicians understand that they were misled by their party chairman, Naftali Bennett, who joined forces with the enemies of the ultra-Orthodox sector to fight against the Torah world and prepare for the next expulsion. Their tremendous satisfaction with their electoral success gave them selective hearing. They ignored Bennett’s unequivocal declarations that he had no problem negotiating with the terrorists.

Those who supported this party, dedicated to its autonomy plan and further territorial compromises, are now paying a heavy price. They have seen their votes go for more concessions, the release of more terrorists, and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In the meantime, this coalition has managed to wreck the yeshivos, deprive tens of thousands of poverty-stricken children of their daily bread, and tear down the protective walls of traditional Judaism. Those politicians who succeeded in destroying the world of Torah will now be compelled to pursue their chareidi counterparts, who will give them the same disgusting political treatment as they take their revenge at the expense of the territorial integrity of Eretz Yisroel.


The problem is not only the Jewish values that these Knesset Members trampled upon; it’s their total lack of sound political judgment. What exactly could they have been thinking? Did they really imagine that they could wage open war against the Torah world and still remain immune from counterattack? As the new parliamentary term began, with a fierce struggle expected against Netanyahu’s settlement dismantling, the roles would soon be reversed. How could they have been so insensitive, turning their back on the chareidi MKs who pleaded with them during their time of distress?

A couple of weeks ago, during one of the nastiest nights the Knesset has known, all the Bayit Yehudi MKs voted for the “equal sharing of the burden” bill. According to this legislation, only 1,800 exceptional Torah scholars will be permitted to learn in yeshivos and kollelim after the age of twenty-two, while the rest will be forcibly drafted into the army.

Even those who do not devote their entire lives to Torah study realize the tremendous value of those in the ultra-Orthodox community occupied full-time as genuine Torah scholars. They fully appreciate that their study serves as an important means for protecting the Jewish People as a whole. The founders of the modern Jewish state also understood the true value of Torah study, as they granted military exemptions to its scholars. However, the national religious MKs voted with the coalition, while their chareidi colleagues rent their garments in sorrow and mourning.

According to the new campaign by the extreme left-wing Peace Now movement, the prime minister is expected to pass legislation on the next round of settlement evacuations with help from the ultra-Orthodox MKs, who will abstain in the Knesset vote. This will provide the government with the necessary majority, similar to what the Shas Party did when it helped secure the passage of the initial Oslo Accords twenty years ago, and when “Yahadut HaTorah” joined Sharon’s coalition on the eve of the disengagement from Gush Katif and the northern Shomron. It appears that the extreme left is correct in its observation. The big loser in all these maneuvers will be the Jewish People.


“We find something truly incredible here: Those leaders who agreed to go against the Torah and agreed to pass this wretched legislation – the law on ‘Who is a Jew?’ – these same people now proclaim that they know that they are about to harm the territorial integrity of Eretz Yisroel.

“And just as they reached out and signed, they have used all forbidden methods inconsistent with justice and honesty in order that this law should hold firm, to the point of saying the opposite of the truth, even things likely to be revealed, etc.”

Article originally appeared on Beis Moshiach Magazine (http://beismoshiachmagazine.org/).
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