Thursday, 24 January 2013

Religious Apartheid in Stolenland

Yair Lapid addresses RA rabbis at the 2012 RA Convention in May. He is the founder of the Yesh Atid Party

"We tripled our power from previous elections," Bennett said. 

"We united. On all issues of religion and state there has been a status quo for decades. I think it's time to open up all the issues of religion and state, to sit and have a dialogue about them, with mutual respect for all the factions, to find a new, complete way to deal with this matter."
Bennett's campaign will be carefully studied in the future, but Election Day has already highlighted his major achievement. He managed to maintain the traditional religious Zionist base while drawing in many secular voters.
HASHMONAIM – On the surface, it appears that one candidate is king here, and his name is Naftali Bennett. 

A big sign that greets cars entering the road to this Anglo-Saxon stronghold situated just barely over the Green Line reads: “Yes to Habayit Hayehudi, no to a Palestinian state.”

Indeed, an overwhelming majority of voters questioned at the local polling station this morning said they had cast their ballot for the right-wing religious Zionist party in its new incarnation with Bennett at the helm.
Jewish Home Party leader Naftali Bennett was attacked by a large group of hareidi Jews on a visit to the Western Wall Monday. 

As he attempted to say prayers at the Kotel, Hareidim began pushing him and yelling at him. A riot nearly broke out between many people at the Kotel who support Bennett and the hareidi groups who were attacking him.
The difference is that in Bennett those ideas have an assertive mouthpiece, a spokesman not content with accepting religious Zionism as his own personal philosophy, but who believes it should be the dominant belief structure of the entire Israeli polity. 

He is the main attraction, not the extra in someone else’s production, and his message is resonating far beyond self-identified religious Zionists: Polls released this week show that 43 percent of Bennett’s intended voters are secular.
"There will be an over-representation of the religious and ultra-orthodox – around one in three members of the Knesset, according to the latest polls," said Ofer Kenig, of the Israel Democracy Institute. About one in five members of the last Knesset were religious or ultra-orthodox, he said.

"This is a very significant change. The explanation is not necessarily the demographic growth of this sector but the success of religious parties in attracting support from secular and traditional voters."

In one of the polling stations in the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Bayit Vegan in Jerusalem, voters complained that the station supervisor was immodestly dressed in pants instead of a skirt, which disrupted the process as local residents were unwilling to approach her, Maariv reported.

The Central Elections Committee on Sunday ordered an ultra-Orthodox party to remove from campaign material references to blessings that will be bestowed on its voters.
The struggle between Israel's ultra-Orthodox party gained momentum on Sunday, when books of religious law written by the venerated Sephardic rabbi and Shas spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef were burned at a major intersection in Or Yehuda.

The Chairman of the Central Elections Committee, Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, has asked the Attorney General and Legal Advisor to the Government, Attorney Yehuda Weinstein, to look into complaints that Shas is distributing amulets as part of its election propaganda.

Yahadut MK Moshe Gafne, who heads the Knesset Finance Committee, has turned to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein and Central Election Committee Chairman Justice Elyakim Rubinstein demanding legal action. 

Gafne is angered over the use of the word “bloodsucker” in the description of the chareidi tzibur in a non-frum publication.

Shas, the largest ultra-Orthodox party and a key partner in the outgoing coalition, is bracing for such an eventuality.

"There certainly is such a fear," said party spokesman Asher Gold. "The reason Shas historically was in all coalitions was not because they liked Shas, but because of its political power."

Opinion polls predict that religious politicians will end up with a record 40 of parliament's 120 seats after Tuesday's vote, compared with 25 in the outgoing assembly elected in 2009. Two decades ago only a score of lawmakers were religiously Orthodox.

By Asaf Lieberman

My family name put me on the list of Ashkenazim, and I didn't even know I was one. 

Suddenly I'm also part of Deri's election campaign, as he insists on maintaining the ethnic division between Ashkenazim and Sephardim. After all, Shas is a Sephardic party, and if the Sephardim don't know that they're Sephardim, how can the Sephardic party continue to exist?

“They call them the ‘Jewish Home’ but this is not a home for Jews; it is a home of goyim [gentiles],” Yosef said. “They want to uproot the Torah, to institute civil marriage. It’s forbidden to vote for them. These are religious people? Anyone who votes for them denies the Torah.”

“They are all wicked, haters of Torah and mitzvot. They want to institute public transportation on Shabbat,” Yosef charged. “A Jew who wants to marry won’t have to go to the rabbinate — have you heard? How can they call themselves religious? How can we be complicit in this?”

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