Rafi Farber: Why I’m Running for Zehut Primaries

Gambling as the canary, Why I’m running for Israel’s parliament

I’m running for a seat in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, and any Jewish person in the world can vote for me, Israeli citizen or not. Seriously. Before I explain exactly how, here’s why I’m running.

Arguably the most famous Holocaust poem ever written was penned by a Lutheran Pastor. His name was Martin Niemöller. You’ve probably heard his poem before. It starts like this:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out, because I was not a socialist.”

It continues with trade unionists, then Jews, “Then they came for me, and there was no one left to speak for me.” It’s one of those things they make you memorize as a kid, especially a Jewish kid in Jewish day school.

I’m not a gambler, at least not the casino or games of chance or poker type. But I know the poem, and I’m aware enough to know that they come for the gamblers first. They – the ruling class who make their living taxing our work, telling us how to live our lives, how much we have to pay them, who we have to bomb and who we have to hate, who can work in what industry for how much, printing money and devaluing our paychecks when they run out of cash.

They clothe their rationalizations in moralizing terms to make you think they care about you. Gambling is dangerous, they say. It has to be regulated and taxed, they say. So that it is not abused. And by the way, the regulatory fees and taxes all go to them and their budgets, which are never balanced anyway. The ones who get the exclusive licenses to do business without being arrested always have a man on the inside, donating to campaigns, lobbying, buying influence.

First they come for the gamblers, because they’re the easiest to rob, without much backlash. People like Chris Christie, who last year strong-armed Atlantic City casinos by threatening to close them down, taxed them an extra $120 million in order to bail out his bankrupt city government buddies. They spent too much again. Oops. Let’s take more money from the casinos first then. And now, the moralizer is caught sun bathing with his family at a government-owned beach he closed to the public because his buddies in Trenton spent too much again. Oops.

“Did you get any sun today?” he was asked.

“I didn’t. I didn’t get any sun today,” he said.

And then the photos. Oops. And then we’re told he wasn’t lying because, “He had a baseball hat on.” Then he went back to his taxpayer funded beach house to take a shower. His water bill is paid by taxpayers, too. But trust him. Gambling is immoral.

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From Calvin Ayre, here.

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