“Haters gonna hate,” the saying goes. Ditto for political parties.
On January 3, Ynet reported about a Shas event held in the Arab Galilee village of Abu Sanan. Aryeh Deri mentioned feeling at home and told his audience, “You will have someone to turn to and our respect.” Eli Yishai likewise stated, “Inshallah, God willing, we will have our victory party right here.”
This should be as surprising as reading that Meretz members advocate public transportation on Shabbat. Does Shas greasing the rails for Oslo I by abstention ring a bell? How about the coalition Shas formed with Meretz and Labor in 1992 to enable Rabin’s government?
It wasn’t out of the blue that Rabbi Aaron Rakeffet-Rothkoff said in 2010, “Any commitment of Shas to Torat HaShem Temima is purely coincidental at best… A vote for Shas is a vote to give back the Kotel” (See 28:45 here.)
Rabbi David Bar-Hayim has commented on Shas and Oslo I: “They allowed it to take place because they did nothing…They did nothing because they were paid off. This is a clear-cut, simple, straightforward case of shochad…” (See 1:19:50 here.)
But the problem isn’t just Shas. Before the establishment of this party, the Lubavitcher Rebbe zt”l likewise stated regarding the Camp David Accords:
What’s most distressing is that the voices that should have been raised in opposition have been silenced by bribes. Those who have accepted the bribes may protest the money has gone to Yeshivos, etc. However, no money that is stained with Jewish blood can help in the education of a Jewish child.
These words remain all too timely, as do those of Rabbi Meir Kahane hy”d in 1981:
Years of a National Religious Party holding the balance of power in the government and doing nothing as it supped happily at the tables of money and power. Almost four years of an Agudat Yisrael party, which is quite happy to support Begin in return for money for its institutions and yeshivot.
Specific to Rabbi Kahane’s points, Rabbi Rakeffets remarked on various occasions from 2005 and 2012 about the destruction of Gush Katif, the empowerment of Hamas, and the complicity of Agudat Yisrael:
* “You open up The Jewish Press, Menachem Porush is crying and yelling and shouting…against the disengagement. You phony. You falsifier. You liar. Your own party is sitting in the government and giving them a majority and enabling them to do what they want, and you’re crying in The Jewish Press. And people are so stupid. They read it and follow it and think Torah Mi Sinai. (See 28:55 here.)
* “Every rocket falling in on Israel today—Agudat Yisrael, the Gerrer Rebbe, has a share in it.” (See 8:50 here.)
* “…a Moetzet Gedolei HaTorah that enabled the Israeli government to give back Gush Katif and bring endless tragedy upon the Jewish People…Agudat Yisrael made it possible. I lived it. I saw it. It was tangible. Everyone knows about it…The price we are paying, the price we have paid, and the price we will yet pay for the stupidity of Agudat Yisrael that enabled the Israeli government to go along with Sharon and Olmert. It’s overwhelming.” (See 1:05:35 here.)
Menachem Ben-MordechaiAbout the Author: Menachem Ben-Mordechai has written for numerous publications on subjects ranging from Israel and Latin America to the sport of powerlifting and life insurance. He has also coached elite powerlifters as well as beginners. Menachem’s other writing can be found under the name Myles Kantor.
The author’s opinion does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Jewish Press.