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Netanyahu’s deadlock

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2013 03 03T132933Z 1 CBRE92211HB00 RTROPTP 2 ISRAEL POLITICS
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  March 3, 2013. (photo:Gali Tibbon/Reuters)

Israeli President Shimon Peres met with Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday and offered him a 14-day extension to form a government after Netanyahu failed to do so during the month following the January election. Netanyahu ascribed his failure to a “boycott of a certain sector,” by which he means the surging centrist party, Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid.

The upshot is, he’s in a very big pickle (and one we saw coming a mile away). From Isabel Kershner at The New York Times:

His options have been curtailed by an unexpected alliance between two rising stars bent on preventing his longstanding ultra-Orthodox allies from joining the next government.


During the 28-day period, Netanyahu managed to forge a pact only with the party of former foreign minister, Tzipi Livni, whose six-member faction “The Movement” has given him 37 seats, way short of the minimum 61 needed to confirm a new coalition.

In a brief statement following his meeting with Peres on Saturday night, Netanyahu hinted that at least one potential coalition partner refused to sit alongside others.

Netanyahu has faced demands from the parties that placed second and fourth, Yesh Atid (There is a Future) and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), to slash mass exemptions from military conscription and cut welfare stipends to ultra-Orthodox Jews.

In coalition talks on Friday with Bayit Yehudi, Netanyahu’s chief negotiator said the right-wing party was unwilling to sit alongside ultra-Orthodox parties but Bayit Yehudi officials denied this.

Although he did not name Bayit Yehudi or Yesh Atid as the reason for his inability to form a coalition, Netanyahu said some parties were boycotting others.

“In these past four weeks I tried to form the broadest possible government … I think the ultra-Orthodox public is prepared to accept (demands by other partners) but the main reason that I have not managed to complete the task by today is … because there is a boycott of a certain sector,” he said.

And that “certain sector” just happens to be the surprise winners of the last elections, Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, which refuses to enter a coalition with Haredim (Shas and longstanding ultra-Orthodox allies ) and has formed a pact with Bayit Yehudi, Naftali Bennet’s national religious Jewish Home party— which in turn says it will not enter the government without Yesh Atid. So much for the progressive claims made for Yesh Atid.

Netanyahu faces a gridlock. On his right, prominent members of his party, Likud, are members of the Land of Israel Lobby who want him to adopt the Levy report, thus enabling annexation of the West Bank, which will lead to international isolation. A large portion of the Likud base has threatened to abandon him if he doesn’t toe the line. Netanyahu is beholden to them, as we noted last fall, citing a rightwing report:

“I’m afraid that Netanyahu is more obedient to the pressure from the United States and from Europe than to the pressure from his own voters,” [Member of Knesset Aryeh Eldad] said. “We are here to explain to him that he will lose the base of his own voters if he will surrender to the demands of the international community and destroy more settlements in Israel.”

Since then, Likud’s radical base has not diminished, it’s turned further to the right;  and extremist members have threatened to take over Likud, as Alex Kane reported last week. Likud has long aligned itself with the ultra-Orthodox parties. And as Allison Deger reminds us, leaders from Likud, Shas and the National Union sent a letter to Netanyahu demanding he annex the West Bank.

They want annexation, settlement growth, welfare stipends and they do not want to join the military. Yesh Atid and Jewish Home both are against military exemptions for the ultra orthodox settlers. (Personally I think there’s something really creepy about all those settlers being in the army, given the coordination factor… )

So, he’s between rocks– which reminds me of something Akiva Eldar said, the veteran Israeli journalist, as we reported from his call with Peace Now ahead of the election:

So when Netanyahu is sworn in again, [Eldar said,] on Day One his coalition will have a radical right line and the Europeans will start to confront him. ….:

“I believe [the pressure] will not come from the Americans, it will come from the Europeans, because… the Europeans are getting fed up, and in the case of the Palestinian request to the UN, there was a message, you can go ahead with this, you don’t have to follow us and vote against the Palestinians. [It was a] subtle hint from the US to Europeans, you don’t have to worry about the European AIPAC, so take advantage of this.”

Netanyahu will respond to the economic pressure, and his coalition will break. There will be new elections not long after he forms his coalition, Eldar indicated.

When asked by a Peace Now caller what could produce a meaningful two-state solution, Eldar basically admitted no one is Israel is thinking about this.

Right, no one is very interested in “peace talks,” it’s not on Netanyahu’s front burner. But he’s supposed to be playing along with that meme, to stave off the Europeans who are chomping at the bit. Who knows what Obama’s going to do over there, but Netanyahu has alreaded signaled his willingness to play along with the idea that he is interested in restarting peace talks. And he’s assigning that role to Tzipi Livni: she will be playing “a leading role in any talks with the Palestinians.” Livni’s party, (yes, the same politician outed in the Palestine papers as dismissing the Palestinian negotiating team’s two-state proposal/offer that was so generous to Israel riots broke out in Palestine when they were leaked), is the only partner Netanyahu has found to join his new coalition!

The press is now openly questioning whether Netanyahu can spin a coalition out of this mix. And if he can’t in 14 days, Peres could ask another politician to form a coalition. My bet is that even if he does form a coalition, or the wily Yesh Atid is able to pull one together, as Akiva Eldar predicted, the international pressure will keep up, the parties will contradict one another, and it’s no time before Israel is back to new elections.

Then it could get interesting. There’s always a possibility people who didn’t vote in the last election will do so this time around. Netanyahu’s weakened.

Further reading: Yousef Munayyer demonstrating the right-wing bloc’s power over the entire political order, and David Remnick, observing the same trend, pronouncing the Israeli political class a lost cause.

Annie Robbins

Annie Robbins is a mom, a human rights activist, and a ceramic artist. She lives in the SF bay area and likes to garden. Follow her on Twitter @anniefofani

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35 Responses

  1. gingershot on March 3, 2013, 1:15 pm

    Obama helped out monkey-wrenching Netanyahu by ‘interfering in Israeli elections’ with his vote of non-confidence for Netanyahu on the eve of the elections – and that undoubtedly cost him a few crucial seats.

    The Apartheid leadership of Israel needs to be regime-changed – and it needs to be hamstrung and incapacitated from pulling off an attack on Iran until it has swirled too far down the drain to be able to manage anything other than a gurgle

    King Bibi my arse

  2. ramzijaber on March 3, 2013, 1:55 pm

    Let’s see what are the odds for “peace” in terms of who TRULY supports the 2SS:
    – Netanyahoo is against
    – Lieberman is totally against
    – Lapid thinks Olmert went too far and shouldn’t have agreed to sharing Al-Quds
    – Bennett is absolutely definitely against
    – Livni, well we know her position from The Palestine Papers

    So, I’s say the odds for peace based on 2SS are about MINUS 100%.

    • ivri on March 3, 2013, 2:54 pm

      “Let`s see what are the odds for “peace”…”
      I agree with you putting “peace” between quotation marks. The “peace plans” Israel is usually offered look (if you read the not so fine print) not so much “peace with it” but rather “peace without it” (in particular the return of 7 million “refugees” of 3-4 generations, which in another 20 years will likely rise to 20 million). So, how much chances of success that should have?

      • ramzijaber on March 3, 2013, 7:47 pm

        You got it right ivri, the RETURN of refugees. That’s right, RETURN.

        As the English word clearly implies, you can only RETURN to something you previously owned or resided in. So the Palestinians have the LEGAL RIGHT to RETURN to THEIR LAND. You and other Jews have the right to return to where you came from.

        And one more thing: don’t even dare to use the Bible as a real-estate guide to claim that Palestine belongs to the Jews. Religions do not have states. Palestine belongs to Palestinians. You are welcome to apply to immigrate to the State of Palestine, stating your reasons, and then we’ll see!

      • Citizen on March 3, 2013, 11:09 pm

        The Catholics have an actual legal state: Vatican city. How big is it’s land inside its borders? At most, maybe one square mile?

      • tokyobk on March 4, 2013, 6:59 am

        So, Jews have the right to return to the land where they came from?
        In the case of half of Israel that was expelled from ME countries, is that even true?
        People belong where they are, where they were born, where their parents were born. If you believe different you have no (non-hypocritical) case for any return, even of Palestinians.
        A Jew whose grandparents were born in Palestine has as much claim to natural belonging as an Arab.
        You can believe that the land is essentiality Arab (and Muslim or Christian) and that all Jews, no matter how long their family has been there are interlopers, and Arabs, no matter how recently they may have come there, are natural citizens. But then you are a nationalist fighting for your side not someone who truly envisions one democratic state of its citizens.

  3. American on March 3, 2013, 1:59 pm

    Hysterical, here’s how Netanyahu is handling it.

    ‘Now Bibi is calling Yair Lapid an anti-Semite’

    Accusing yair lapid of boycotting and banning Jews like anti semites of yore.
    Could zionist and Israel exist without anti Semites?…..Nope, that’s why they keep inventing them.
    Netanyahu reminds me of Jim Jones and Israel of Jonestown.
    I can see him and the other crazies getting everyone to line up and drink the koolaide….”they’re coming to kill us, they’re coming to kill us ,hurry, hurry children, drink your koolaide!”

    • annie on March 3, 2013, 2:04 pm

      lol, how did i miss this?

    • a blah chick on March 3, 2013, 3:13 pm

      What audio visual aids did he use when taking Lapid to task. Did he pull out a picture of Vapid Lapid in an SS uniform?

      Personally I think Mr. Sara should give all his press conferences from a balcony, just like the Pope.

      • Avi_G. on March 4, 2013, 1:18 am

        But the pope wasn’t the only one to make speeches from a balcony. There was Churchill. Hitler was more on a raised platform than a balcony, and then of course there’s Joseph; no, the other one, Stalin, and let’s not forget good ol’ Benito. I would add Chaushesku to that list, too.

        Israeli leaders don’t like balconies, you see. They prefer giving speeches from behind a podium. It gives them an aura of respect and formality because very few people in the world respect thieves.

      • on March 4, 2013, 1:29 am

        from a balcony, just like Mussolini.

  4. on March 3, 2013, 2:31 pm

    for the life of me …I dont understand why obama is going to israel…people that openly tried to get him out of office…

    if I were the iranians i’d state directly that any attack on them would demand that we get nukes to make sure that those attacking will be injured much worse

  5. on March 3, 2013, 2:36 pm

    i like how dennis rodman and crew are trying to thaw the US nkorean debacle

    if we could only get some in the US to do the same with regards to palestine

    • kalithea on March 3, 2013, 8:23 pm

      It won’t work because the Israeli system pretends to be close to the American system and Americans have recklessly or foolishly coddled and supported Israelis for too long to suddenly start preaching to them about behaving nicely. What will work is if Americans start to snub and boycott cultural and sports events in Israel for a change and pull funding, i.e. exactly the opposite of what Americans in sport are doing with NK and Iran. Time to teach Israel a lesson: quit taking this “friendship” for granted!

      It’s time to try a little reverse psychology on all parties.

      With Israel, a radically different approach is required. Israel is the irresponsible, spoilt-rotten child that is used to getting everything it wants, which is an understatement, and is acting up as a rule and heading down the path to destruction. It’s time to take away the toys, withdraw privileges and try some serious discipline for a change.

      On the other hand, continuously beating up on the others, NK and Iran is also extreme. It’s time to try “killing with kindness” on Iran and NK as well as setting a better example; an even-handed example rather than the HYPOCRTICAL “do as we say; not as we do” example. I believe the psychology that’s been used with these parties is ALL WRONG, hypocritical, extreme and polarizing.

      So, Israel needs what some might call TOUGH love and what I would call a well-deserved kick in the ass. Nothing else will work.

      • tokyobk on March 4, 2013, 9:22 am

        The US, South Korea and Japan; the hated enemies of the NK regime, the murderous regime that tortures and murders its own people, are directly and indirectly responsible for providing tons of rice and other supplies to NK that keeps their people alive.

        The several hundred men and women who run NK don’t care about kindness or good intentions.

    • kalithea on March 3, 2013, 9:06 pm

      Oh and I believe that yes there should be way more engagement and exchange with Palestinians but not because they’re the enemy, but because they’ve been demonized and dehumanized by the spoiled-rotten Zionist “ally” for too long.

      I’m sure if Americans started engaging Palestinians in cultural events, like Burnat with his great film, they would discover that Palestinians are human beings with a deeply tragic story deserving of their rights and land like everyone else.

  6. on March 3, 2013, 3:05 pm

    time has come today…america politicians,,,,need to be american

  7. ToivoS on March 3, 2013, 3:56 pm

    Nice reporting Annie. I have found Israeli politics so depressingly repetitive that it is easy to ignore. But these look some tantalizing hints for interesting stories — i.e. bad news for Israel.

    • annie on March 3, 2013, 10:45 pm

      thank you toivo. i think i will refrain from making any more predictions for the time being tho, things move so fast over there…and yet they remain the same. here’s something interesting. shas says they are joining the opposition. see how long this lasts: Shas official tells Haaretz: We’re ready to evacuate settlements, back Mideast talks

      “We are going to walk all over the settlements, we’re not afraid. We’ll vote to evacuate outposts, we’ll vote to freeze construction, we’ll support diplomatic initiatives, we’ll vote to cut funding to the settlements,” the senior Shas official told Haaretz.

      they sound pissed they are getting dumped.

  8. kalithea on March 3, 2013, 4:39 pm

    This is great news! Zionists is disarray; what could be better. If Livni represents the “moderate” and we’ve all witnessed how that “worked out” and she’s in the mix of a majority of radicals and crazies then there are only two options left: a one-state solution with full rights for Palestinians, and the end of Zionism at last, OR, what I believe will happen first: more intense ethnic cleansing, more excuses for genocidal massacre of Palestinians and an Apartheid state to rival all others, all of which also represents the end of Zionism.

    So in conclusion all this is “hopeful” as the demise of Zionism is at hand. The only drawback is; because the latter option is more likely, things will get much worse for Palestinians before they’re finally free of the scourge.

    My heart goes out to Palestinians for what lies ahead.

    • ivri on March 3, 2013, 6:21 pm

      I have a different reading of this all: it is like what happened in France (the Le Penn party), Greece and now Italy (the comedian`s success), namely “anti-system” and protest parties are grabbing votes. It is a crisis of democracy and market economy in Western countries and has its deeper-rooted causes that are far more dominant than the particular local reasons cited (in each case). It is not “Zionism in disarray” but something much bigger and what it could do may make people far less cheerful than the “fools` paradise” projected here.

      • annie on March 3, 2013, 6:28 pm

        which “particular local reasons cited (in each case)” are you referencing?

        isn’t it fairly accepted netanyahu lost his PM’ship in 99 due to him claving to closely to the right.and in the settler video i linked to and blockquoted they specifically said ‘he will lose the base of his own voters if he will surrender to the demands of the international community’, and i imagine those demands are settlement expansion.

        i think he went hog wild after bennet in the election the 2 have a lot of animosity. and Yair Lapid said he was going to replace him as PM within 18 months. so do you think they’ll have new elections or not?

      • ToivoS on March 3, 2013, 7:57 pm

        I think Ivri is closer to the truth than what I or others here think all this means. Israeli politics is seriously broken. Large numbers of voters lurch from one position to another. One day they are concerned about the price of cottage cheese. Next they think it is unfair that children of the Yeshiva community are exempt from military service (what is not to like about that — they don’t spend their youth terrorizing Palestinians,[my opinion, not the Israeli voter]). Many are unhappy that WB settlers get housing subsidies but residents of Tel Aviv must pay full market rents. What has not changed for many years is that very few Israelis think about the Palestinians and do not vote over that issue.

        But in the mean time, for those of us who look forward to the collapse of the Zionist regime, we can be entertained while their political system tries to reconcile their societies many contradictory elements.

        The big crises is not going to be from internal Israeli Jewish political conflict, rather it will come from Palestinian resistance to oppression and the international reaction to that struggle. At that point it does not matter which Zionist faction has the most votes.

      • Citizen on March 3, 2013, 11:19 pm

        @ ToivoS

        “At that point it does not matter which Zionist faction has the most votes.”
        From the outside. Inside, because all the zionist factions will unite against all “the nations” arrayed against them.

      • Avi_G. on March 4, 2013, 1:28 am

        No, actually, iver’s postulations are a diversion from the crisis of Zionism.

        The crisis of Zionism is that its leaders have no long-term vision or solutions for pressing existential problems, vis-a-vis Palestinians, the Golan Heights, Gaza and Israel’s identity crisis in the Middle East.

        It’s easy to gloss over all those existential issues and look to a diversion that seeks to equate the politics of normal, healthy societies with the broken nationalist enterprise in Israel.

        That is why Netanyahu is having a hard time forming a government because no leader in Israel is able to take on the challenges of a century-old enterprise and offer sound, reliable, and tangible solutions.

        Think of it as a group of kids avoiding the tough questions by dancing around the issue in an effort to buy more time, to delay the inevitable.

      • on March 4, 2013, 1:43 am

        Ivri – Of course it’s not some convulsions among “secular” fascist shits, the more like cavemen shits and worse then cavemen shits that shows the disarray of Zionism. That’s just so much theater to make the boobies believe that there are any differences among them.
        It is the fact that the camouflage is no more working, that their popular support except here in boobyland has gone pfft, and that they cannot put up a credible act anymore, so they are now obliged to implement barenaked Apartheid, large-scale massacres without the possibility of hiding behind others. Ditto for starting major wars, which they will have to start. That this guarantees a worldwide successful general boycott in the near future. That the only invader immigration they can get is no more Jewish. That whoever has a milligram of brains is leaving PDQ. That all the rats are jumping ship while the stupid, present company not excepted, is still at it waiting to get blown away. That is disarray.

  9. David Doppler on March 3, 2013, 7:48 pm

    I have a question for those who are more knowledgeable in Talmudic studies. It’s my impression that this ancient tradition includes a fully developed legal system, complete with separate laws for Jews and non-Jews, and with the rabbis in charge. I understand that Israel has never adopted its written constitution, and one can interpret the current situation as one it which the orthodox rabbis have established what they regard as an orthodox government, and have, non-publicly, ceded to the secular government control over those activities that the rabbis are comfortable ceding, but do not want to see a formal adoption, as if the constitution existed by virtue of the people ratifying it, as opposed to the rabbis sanctioning it. Bibi’s tenacious loyalty to the right-wing orthodox parties would also be consistent with them as the true, if partially hidden power. This would also be consistent with Bibi treating Yair Lapid as Anti-Semitic, since the Rabbis would regard anyone who refuses to align with them to be an affront to their authority, and to Orthodox Judaism itself. You can regard Bibi the secularist as wholly without principle in throwing around such charges, or you can see him as communicating the views of those who hold true authority. Does this make sense? Pleases educate me.

    • talknic on March 4, 2013, 8:40 am

      David Doppler

      Read the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel very very carefully..

      • David Doppler on March 5, 2013, 3:09 pm

        Thanks, talknic. But I feel I’m parsing phrases in areas of ambiguity, or “open texture” to use HLA Hart’s phrase, and where the group of students waits for the leader, the rabbi, to elucidate the “true meaning.” An example of where the supposed “study of language [or other higher rational process]” proceeds unaware of its subservience to the social-biological reality that every group needs a leader, and, within limits, follows that lead, much as baboons follow the alpha male to stay together on the savanna.

  10. annie on March 3, 2013, 8:02 pm

    i was wrong!!!!

    Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu began working on a coalition without haredi parties on Sunday, breaking the news to Shas and then negotiating with Bayit Yehudi.

    One day after Netanyahu accused Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi of boycotting an entire population group, which he said was unacceptable, he admitted to Shas the unlikelihood of forming a coalition with the haredi parties.

  11. Abierno on March 3, 2013, 10:58 pm

    Unfortunately the Zionists are not in dissarray. What is being observed is an elegant finesse to strip Netanyahu of his power. Skewered on his vacillating settlement policy,
    he lurches to the left to appease the Europeans, and then to the right to appease the extreme rightists (Moshe Feiglin et al) in his own party. Lapid and Bennett have forced him to exclude his long time allies such as Shas and United Torah, to abandon the Haredim all of whom have previously been staunch supporters. His is a brand that is far beyond its shelf life. Even if he is able to form a government with Lapid and Bennett, they will sabotage it, continuing to whipsaw Netanyahu as they do now. When the government falls, it will be Naftali Bennett who cuts a deal with the Haredi parties, scoops up the youthful and middle class and continues his strong alliances with the settlers. He has also built tight alliances with heavy hitting orthodox in the US who are tired of Netanyahu’s bufoonery (think last presentation to the UN). Bennett has already stated his policy on the Palestinians, stating that in the G-d given lands of Judea and Samaria there is room for none but Jews. The economics of annexation, is amazing wealth creating opportunity for those who are politically and economically in control, just as the original oligarchi families benefitted from the political creation of Israel. The response of the US/Europe – limited and weak, since their own economic states are far from stable and destablizing as we speak.

    • annie on March 4, 2013, 8:54 am

      When the government falls, it will be Naftali Bennett who cuts a deal with the Haredi parties,

      that would seem like a natural conclusion although in the heat of the moment shas is saying the opposite:

      Shas also rejected a suggestion the prime minister made earlier in negotiations, that the party join the government at a later stage, after the government was already formed. The party pointed out that it would not want to join a coalition after Yesh Atid and Bayit Yehudi passed a haredi enlistment law, housing reform or budget cuts, which Shas and United Torah Judaism believe would hurt haredi interests.

      The same source threatened that the haredi public and political leadership “would long remember the behavior of the national-religious party [Bayit Yehudi] after these elections.

      “When the haredim are once again in government and the national-religious are not, they will see our response to what they have done,” the official warned.

  12. bilal a on March 3, 2013, 11:21 pm

    poster wrote: “They want annexation, settlement growth, welfare stipends and they do not want to join the military. Yesh Atid and Jewish Home both are against military exemptions for the ultra orthodox settlers. (Personally I think there’s something really creepy about all those settlers being in the army, given the coordination factor… )”

    Im confused , I was under the impression that:

    1. The religious Torah observant ultra orthodox are not settlers, indeed they are often anti-zionist for the same reasons most rabbis were prior to Israel’s formation. And their opposition to the Naqba forcing of a Jewish state was exactly why they were given the military exemption to begin with.

    2. The ultra orthodox are fine with closing of the settlements and a two state solution,

    3. The settlers are orthodo, or secular, not ultra orthdox. Moreover most o Israelis and their poltiical class are liberal Jewish ethnic nationalists, not religious at all, and often, like every Israeli PM atheists, not jews by religion (includes Netanyahu). Not suprising since Zionism was a nationist, socialist ideology.

    4. Israel is a liberal state, not a fundamentalist religious state, and the religious are on the national question far to the left, or opposed to the Israeli expansionist agenda.

    Sorry if some or all of the above is incorrect, appreciate a post explaining the relgiious dimensions of this conflict.

    And please dont mention Meir Kahane, a federal informant, who never received serious criminal charges despite bombings , injured policeman, and other violence:
    He can hardly be called an ultra-orthodox religious Jew.

    “In the late 1950s to early 1960s, Kahane led a life of secrecy. His strong anti-communist views landed him a position as a consultant with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). According to his wife Libby, his assignment was to infiltrate the anti-communist John Birch Society and report his findings back to the FBI.[11] As reported by Michael T. Kaufman in The New York Times[13] (and subsequently followed up by The Village Voice in the early 1980s), Kahane (under his pseudonym Michael King) allegedly had an affair with a non-Jewish woman, Gloria Jean D’Argenio.[14][15] In 1966, Kahane/King allegedly sent a letter to D’Argenio in which he unilaterally ended their relationship. In response, D’Argenio jumped off the Queensboro (“59th Street”) Bridge; she died of her injuries the next day. According to Kaufman, Kahane admitted to him that “he loved Ms D’Argenio and had sent roses to her grave for months after her death.” He also established a foundation which carried the name she used in her modeling career, Estelle Donna Evans. Ads for the foundation appeared weekly in the Jewish Press, although the group never filed legally required financial documents detailing what it did with the money it collected.[16]”

    Israel is the face of pinkwashed Jewish secular liberal ethno- nationalism not religious Judaism ?

    • annie on March 4, 2013, 8:50 am

      bilal, i think you are entirely correct it is confusing. i am probably not the best person to explain. honestly my knowledge is very limited in this regard (as to religious designations).

      perhaps i have made a mistake.

      The term “ultra-Orthodox” is often used instead of the term Haredi. Some regard this term to be misleading: Ami Ayalon writes that “Haredi” is preferable because

      “Haredi” has none of the misleading religious implications of “ultra-Orthodox”: in the words of Shilhav (1989: 53), “they are not necessarily [objectively] more religious but religious in a different way.”[13]

      Use of the term “ultra-Orthodox” can also be controversial,[14] and is considered pejorative by Ayalon,[15] Norman Lamm[16] and others.[17] Canada’s Centre for Faith and Media, while stating that the term “sometimes… cannot be avoided”, advises journalists to

      Try to avoid the term ultra-Orthodox to describe very observant Jews, partly because ultra implies extremism. The term also lumps all fervently religious Jews together (there is much diversity among the observant). As well, there is no analogue on the other end of the religious spectrum (there are no ultra-Reform Jews.)[18]

      The Jewish Telegraphic Agency stopped using the term in the 1990s, substituting “fervently Orthodox” or “Haredi” or both. Then-editor Lisa Hostein stated “‘ultra-Orthodox’ was seen as a derogatory term that suggested extremism”. A New Jersey based newspaper, The Star-Ledger, reportedly dropped the term ultra-orthodox in 2009.[19][20]

      the settlers supporting bennet are national religious. but the extremist price tag yeshivas, perhaps someone else could explain. but i don’t think it’s wise to rule out the impact of the kahanists. they are very active as the text here confirms

      This is privately owned agricultural land belonging to villagers of Yasuf, located in the Salfit region in the heart of the West Bank. Yasuf land is almost completely surrounded by illegal settlements and outposts, including the radical settlement of Tapuach, site of a Kahanist yeshiva. Yasuf villagers have suffered violent attacks for years and the farmers have been denied access to thousands of dunams of their land since 2001.

      i am a little out of my league wrt the nuances of of religious factions. right now shas is very pissed and saying they will vote for anti settlement in the knesset, but when they controlled the housing ministry they massively expanded the settlements. so i don’t know what more to say, except perhaps i threw around the term ‘ultra orthodox’ much too loosely.

      • bilal a on March 4, 2013, 11:05 am

        It seems that Bennett and Lapid wish to remove religious exemptions and subsidies inside the Jewish state, meaning anti-Haredi Judaism is a winning vote strategy inside nationalist secular Israel, even though ‘Gentie’ seems to be a pejorative form of hate speech:

        “During the run-up to the January elections, the ultra-Orthodox Shas party’s spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef berated the Jewish Home party as “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.””

        TOI also describes the Haredi as ‘far right’ in this article, even though the Haredi seemed opposed to settlements as a form of Israeli expansionism. Perhaps a Palistiniean state could include these religious settlements as they seem cooperative with their Palistinean neighbors:

        “The ultra-Orthodox inhabitants often express contempt for the settler movement, with its vows never to move. The people here, who shun most aspects of modernity, came for three reasons: they needed affordable housing no longer available in and around Jerusalem or Tel Aviv; they were rejected by other Israeli cities as too cult-like; and officials wanted their presence to broaden Israel’s narrow border.”

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