Leibler doubles down on his attack on Bayit Hayehudi
Is Bayit Hayehudi extremist at its core? I don’t believe that their intention to annex Area C is at all extremist though Leibler thinks so:
Yet if Bayit Yehudi pursues its stated annexation objectives, it may undermine a moderate nationalist government and lose an historic opportunity to restore religious Zionism as the dominant religious force in Israeli society.
After the elections, the new government will confront unprecedented pressures, from the United States, Europe and the broader global community.
Netanyahu is likely to find this phase even more daunting than his previous confrontations with President Barack Obama. He will need maximum maneuverability to maintain the diplomatic balancing act which hitherto enabled him to stand firm in relation to major issues while displaying flexibility in secondary areas. He must be able to govern without the threat of veto by extremists out of synch with the real world. [..]
Nevertheless, a government coalition dependent on support from a party committed to the formal repudiation of a two-state solution, and to the annexation of the West Bank, would be in crisis.
No responsible government could conceivably implement such policies, which would lead to disastrous international repercussions including loss of the crucial support of Congress and the American people. It would also impact on the impending Iranian nuclear crisis. [..]
Voters should appreciate that a coalition government based on a weakened Likud-Beytenu, subject to pressure from a party promoting such policies, could lead to an early collapse of a nationalist government.
This would be nightmare scenario for the national camp, which underwent a similar crisis in the past when the extreme Right disassembled a Center-Right government and paved the way for the Left to regain power. Under such circumstances, Bayit Yehudi would become as irrelevant as the failed former Mafdal.
Essentially Liebler supports Bibi’s dancing routine is is very fearful of alienating the West by rejecting its agenda for us outright. I don’t know about you, but I am tired of this game. It is not without its costs prime among them is the lost opportunity costs. We should build as is our right and should make it clear to the west that we will not make a deal on their terms nor will we wait forever for the illusionary peace.
But Liebler levels another accusation that gives me more pause:
These concerns are heightened by the fact that 40 percent of the Bayit Yehudi Knesset list was not elected but appointed by the central committee of Tkuma, a far-right settler party formerly a faction of Ihud Leumi.
The Tkuma constitution obligates its Knesset members to “accept rabbinical authority that shall guide the elected representatives according to Torat Israel and who shall determine the fundamental principles” and explicitly states that “ the Committee of Rabbis of the Party have the ultimate authority in determining the principal ideological direction of the Party and the order of its candidates to the Knesset.”
The Tkuma Knesset contingent will therefore be committed to implementing directives of their three Tkuma rabbis – Kiryat Arba’s Chief Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Zalman Melamed and Rabbi Chaim Steiner. This is a radical departure from the approach of traditional religious Zionists who adamantly refused to defer the determination of political policies to rabbis. It mirrors the manner in which Shas and United Torah Judaism operate.
The dominant rabbi is Rabbi Lior, whose extremist proclamations, such as asserting that the mass murderer Baruch Goldstein be considered “holier than all the martyrs of the Holocaust” and that conceiving with non-Jewish sperm causes genealogical abnormalities, have shocked and alienated all but the most extreme of the religious right wing.
Following the Gaza disengagement, Rabbi Lior amended the wording of the prayer for the welfare of the state recited in synagogues under his control to eliminate a blessing for the government.
One can assume that Naftali Bennett does not endorse most of Rabbi Lior’s extremist views. Besides, Rabbi Lior declines to endorse him or Bayit Yehudi in order not to offend Michael Ben-Ari’s Otzma LeYisrael (Strong Israel), an even more extreme far-right party.
But that does not detract from the fact that a substantial number of his Knesset contingent are Tkuma members committed to implementing their rabbis’ directives.
In contrast, Rabbi Lior and his followers repudiate majority rule when it conflicts with what they determine to be the will of the Almighty.
This bothers me. I need an explanation. Whatever happenned to separation of church and state?
I do not support the idea that Rabbis should have the last word in political matters and I consider that the terms of any peace agreement is a political matter even though it involves giving up parts of Eretz Yisrael.