Regev Responds

Neither Israel's Coalition nor Opposition are talking about this truth

The Elephant politicians aren't talking about

It has now become increasingly apparent that that whoever is going to serve as Israel's next prime minister aspires to include the Haredi parties in his Coalition.

The KnessetThe Knesset

Even though the current Coalition did not fulfill the great expectations [and promises] that it made relating to religious freedom and equality, it was still light years ahead in this area, compared with past coalitions that were dependent on Haredi political support. )We will publish a more detailed account on this topic soon(. This worrisome prospect demands much more attention on the part of both Israelis and responsible Jewish leaders in the Diaspora, since it adversely impacts both Israel-Diaspora relations as well as Israel's domestic civil rights, human dignity, religious freedom, and equality.

But at this time, we just want to provide you with a reminder of the positions that Israel's Haredi parties hold regarding Israel, Zionism and the Knesset, in their own words. As you can easily imagine, leaders of both the current Coalition and Opposition, are remaining silent in this regard.

No, these are not the words of Neturei Karta (an extreme anti-Zionist group that vehemently opposes the contemporary state of Israel). The quotes below are from mainstream ultra-Orthodoxy and were published in last week’s “Yated Neeman” newspaper, the daily organ of Degel Ha’Torah party led by MK Rabbi Moshe Gafni. Gafni was Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee and could possibly hold the position again if the next government is based on his party’s support. When we repeatedly hear the yearning of leading politicians from different political camps to enlist the Haredi parties to their prospective government coalition – this is whom they want to align with. We share these quotes as a service to the public and for the attention of those political leaders.

… the government is in opposition to the entire Torah, and regarding that government we pray three times a day for its downfall ‘may all evil be destroyed instantly’…

In the July 19th, 2022 Yated Neeman, a number of articles reflecting this anti-Zionist anti-Israel sentiment were expressed, demonstrating that this is a core, consistent, outlook even as the Haredi political leaders don’t often reveal it to the general public. Rabbi Shaul Lerner, for instance, re-asserts the strong opposition of ultra-Orthodox Judaism to Zionism and to the State of Israel, and quotes past luminaries to that effect, explains that the Haredi participation in politics (with the explicit, limited, permission of their Rabbinic leaders) is allowed solely for the advancement of their sector’s needs and interests, such as “pure” education without “core studies”, exemption from military and national service, etc. He adds:

"… the government is in opposition to the entire Torah, and regarding that government we pray three times a day for its downfall ‘may all evil be destroyed instantly’…”.

Rabbi Lerner continues:

"The assumption of roles as state officials by ultra-Orthodox representatives [is not] a recognition or acknowledgement of the 'authority' and 'sovereignty' of a state and government whose banner continues to be the rebellion against the Holy One Blessed be He…our participation in the Knesset elections… has not brought about any change in our position or outlook… Let's not make a terrible mistake, as if by accepting positions of authority in government we are changing any of our views… Zionism was born and was designed to tear the Jew from his faith… from the Torah and its commandments… therefore it goes without saying that [holding] the positions of a minister or deputy minister cannot change our absolute rejection of Zionism, the birth mother of the secular state…The so called 'Knesset' is treifah [Unclean and unfit for consumption, originally referring to non-kosher meat], it is in complete opposition to the entire Torah, and so is the government which is a branch that functions as an arm of that very same 'Knesset'…"

In an article by Yitzhak Roth, the former editor of Yated Neeman, he describes Jews who desecrate the Sabbath as “those who show that their soul is no longer Jewish”, and the State of Israel is described as the creation of the “The Delusional One from Vienna” [this is how the newspaper describes Theodor Herzl, the father of modern Zionism], and the desecration of the Shabbat that occurs within the country eliminates any possible identification of Israel as a Jewish state.

In the editorial the paper states: "Today the Land of Israel, which belongs to the Jewish people, groans more than ever under a foreign occupier: the Israeli people! It isn’t just that it prevents the Temple from being built, it grinds to dust even the remaining ruins…”

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