Friday, March 28, 2008

Yehiel Leiter of Likud Visits Ra'anana

I would like to thank you for taking the time out to address Ra'anana last night. I did have a few questions that I would like to ask you and copy the Likud party as well. Let me begin..
1) The Arab facts.
a. Relatively speaking Israeli Arabs don't contribute back to the economy as the Jews so aren't they a huge economical drain? (Imagine if we saved expenses on Arab towns, security walls, additional army resources within Israel, technology against kassams etc..)
b. You mentioned Bibi cut childcare allowances because of the Beduins. But doesn't this inadvertently hurt the incentive for large Jewish families which is what we need and want. Why not tackle the issue head on to remove the Arabs and hence the coffers grow as does our security and definition as a people ?
You Spoke about principles.
2) Why not an all Jewish State ? Isn't that what we came to Israel for, to maintain our Judaism as a nation.
a. Why hasn't the Likud spearheaded the argument of Avigdor Lieberman to remove the Arabs from Knesset. This is an issue well overdue and glaring straight at us.
b. Why has the Likud under Bibi launched a lawsuit with the Supreme court to rule a Jewish state "racist" by the Kach party in fear of losing votes rather than keeping to principle. If Jabotinsky were alive I believe in 1990 he would have chose to lead the Kach party and not the Likud. He was a man of unwavering principles.
c. Why do we lean on low statistical numbers to mock Moshe Feiglin rather than respond to the issues of differences head on. His main campaign is not "Emuni" it's bringing Judaism back to a Jewish state. It's returning to our source. How else would you define a Jew? Wouldn't a true leader mend and unite this small faction within the Likud and work together ? (Feiglin approached Bibi to shake hands and congratulate his party leadership and was dissented. Would Jabo do the same with a foe let alone a party member ?)
d. Our dismal educational system requires injected life. But what else could possibly spur it than a genuine awakening of belief and spirit of Judaism that we've forsaken from our forefathers? Why else be in Israel. Isn't it Gods promise for Centuries of success in the land if we only followed his statutes ?
e. Our people are confused & tired of politics leading nowhere but how can we lead the Jewish people to anything worthwhile when we ourselves do not show Judaism as distinct and lofty as it should be. Perhaps to wear a kippah and keep Shabbat as a bare minimum within the party. Why not ? Are we afraid to show our Judaism for what they might say?
You may respond that these are unpopular sta to the stances toward the masses and hence a fear to state them outright. Nonsense, if you’re a principled party as claimed, and believes in this truth (if you indeed do) then ultimately it will prevail and only it will prevail for falsehood always falls at the end. If we saw the amazing miracles of 48, 67, the revival of ancient Hebrew, a flourishing state under war, etc.. why is it suddenly a leap of faith to run against the current despite how far reaching it seems. In the spirit of Jabotinsky (the basis of the Likud) – if you are sure your way is right – do it and it will be your way". In short, from whence will our salvation come – Washington or the God of Israel. If history has anything to say, the cards are stacked against the first.
I appreciate your time to respond even in very brief to my questions above.
Thank You
Yehoshua Pinto


Anonymous said...

Shalom Yehoshua,

Thank you for your note, it was a pleasure visiting Raanana and sharing some time and ideas with the audience, even those who were somewhat less than in agreement with me.

In response to your arguments below, I will make the following points:

Wising the Arabs away is perhaps understandable but it is not reasonable or relevant. Two parties ran on that ticket in the past and wound up with two seats in the Knesset. It is a platform which I have no problem allowing to be heard, but wishful thinking is not public policy. When Sharon, as PM, ordered targets in Gaza to be hit by the airforce, pilots, lots of them, balked because of collateral damage. Who exactly is going to rule that "Arabs don't contribute to the economy" and therefore evict them? Actually this kind of thinking is counterproductive because it creates make-believe escape routes to facing difficult realities and choices, and then when fantasy doesn't become reality – despair and desperation ensue.

And by the way, Jabotinsky, whom I don't think must be followed like an icon above criticism, never favored expelling Arabs either, on the contrary. In the late 1930's M. Begin actually challenged Jabo's leadership by insisting at an international conference of Beitar that the British be targeted for not allowing Jewish immigration to Israel despite their opposition to Nazi Germany. Was Jabo a lefty, by no means. He was the father of the first Jewish Brigade of real soldiers in hundreds of years. From the vantage point of hindsight was he wrong and Begin right? Probably. But his position at the time was based on what he thought best would ultimately ensure Jewish independence in the Land of Israel not the result of cowardice or inability to articulate what he really believed.

Liberman has made headlines declaring the Arabs should be thrown out of Knesset but he hasn't brought the country any nearer to doing it. That he might accomplish for starters, in a by the way, by breaking off relations with Martin Schlaff of Vienna who made a career of laundering money for the PLO. Headlines are easy – like fantasy. They are just a bit too friendly to allow Avigdor's Knesset antics to be taken seriously.

The cutting of child allowances did not cause a drop of a fraction of a percent in Jewish births. It did cause a dramatic drop in Beduin births. Runaway child allowance payments were initiated by the Rabin gov. in 1993 as a payoff to Shas and the Arab parties in exchange for parliamentary support, it also enabled Oslo and it was time to put a stop to it. If haredim go to work and help grow the economy there will be more financial help going to encourage large Jewish families.

The people of Israel need to be uplifted and allowed to regain hope, we need to help the public jettison cynicism and quick fix solutions. It is a process and it might get worse before it gets better. It nonetheless our duty to press ahead in the context of "it is not upon you to complete the work, but neither are you permitted to refrain from trying."

Stay in touch.

Shabbat Shalom, Yechiel

Yehoshua said...

Hi Yechiel,
I apologize for the long delay to respond, I wish I could devote my time fully to Israel rather than work. I appreciate your responses and I just read a short blurb of yours from and quite agree on your basic reaction. As well, I would like to confirm your formal approval to post our discussion to friends and family who are interested to hear via my personal blog online.

Allow me to respond once again to your points below.

As Jews having seen all human plans erased and failed from the stage of history to then only witness the most improbable of all possibilities occur - the rise of our State and language, successive victories of war at the most vulnerable times and a continued existence, it begs to simply look back at a spiritual promise that made it all happen against odds. What remains relevant is our obstinate refusal to accept that a covenant was created in history that brought us today's realities in it's failures and successes and continues to really be based on our commitments to that covenant (Vayikra 26)

The Kach party referenced below was slated to receive some 11-15 seats prior to Rav Kahane's murder. Shocked and frightened, Knesset members bulked with trepidation from this intelligent charismatic and truthful leader that achieved what no one else did. Unfortunately, his untimely death ended the inevitable prematurely. While so many politicians have come and gone, I don't know anyone who embraces the ideology of any Labour , Kadima, Meretz or any other party after their demise. Rav Kahane's ideology as it was based on the Torah remains to inspire so many even today. This as Jabo once pointed out is the true test of validity. Today the results of our fears and folding in the face of the enemy have produced the weak leadership we suffer along with successive losses of Israeli territory, loss of arms control & security, neighborly Hamas terrorists, emboldened enemies, displaced and disillusioned citizens, Jewish poverty, and hundreds of dead Jews. All this, while the present government not only doesn't show any signs of remorse or regret but continue in the course of factual disaster. The Israeli public has now the option to choose from a list of 3 Arab parties – 10 Arab Knesset Members, a slew of assimilated leftist parties but not a single party or person to represent an all Jewish state for that was officially outlawed in 1990. That very same year, the Supreme court of Israel endorsed Arab representation in spite of their defection to the state.

Many if not all Israeli defensive actions are bulked at by the world. This will continue. Does that mean we must bow to it in fear and let us rather continue the endangering of lives and the insanity of embracing Arabs? And even if we could get the Arabs to love us then we too could be proud of an almost 70% intermarriage rate toward a guaranteed decimation of the Jewish seed. In this sense, their hate is a blessing in disguise from above. No one "rules" that Arabs don't contribute to the economy. It is either a fact or it isn't. While I am not privy to the facts by the Knesset on the issue, a few months ago, I witnessed a speech on Arutz 99 at the podium of the Knesset who spewed out the facts of this year's substantially increased budget to the Arab cities and clearly but carefully ended with their lack of contribution in it's return. And while they factually enjoy the highest standard of living among the myriad of Arab brethren countries around them, they argue and demand for more and one must wonder how can this possibly be? If Jewish subsidization has nothing to do with it, why isn't there a single example of Arab proletariat economic success in any of the myriad of Arab countries? Their success in Israel didn't happen in a vacuum. In fact, avoidance of these facts is what creates fantasies and difficult escape routes. A head on bold and cold revelation of facts would do us all well in this area and I would highly welcome them. This is especially true now, as our soldiers providing free humanitarian aid and water to Gaza are being bombarded while Israel is experiencing a severe water supply shortage.

I agree Jabotinsky wasn't beyond reprove. His dramatic change of policy to view the British as an obstacle to establishing a state was indeed extremely bold given his previous involvement with all British Parliamentarians, and his decision to avoid yet targeting the British in the context of that precise historical time period was not without merit. Begin too, on his deathbed had regretted much of the weakened stance he could have otherwise shown.

In short, as a Jew one mustn't divorce Judaism with Israel. Quite the opposite they must be fully integrated as one and the marriage re-instituted with belief that only G-d has taken us this far in history. It is his will and his will alone that will subside (Mishlei 19:21). We have a covenant and if we keep it, we are guaranteed success. Why continue to fight the covenant after history has vindicated it? Daily we recite in our Prayers that Yishmael was given Har Eisav and we the Jewish people were given Eretz Canaan. There was no mixing no melting with Yishmaelites but rather Jewish distinction and separation. If logic and probabilities had any bearings today, we would have been in Uganda, if we would have survived at all. If not for our religion, the politicians would have had no people to resurrect a state.

Finally, it is unfathomable that a cut in childcare allowances did not affect whatsoever Jewish families. In fact, I learned of this Likud policy from a Kollel Avreich father who felt the devastating pinch of the reform. To claim an overall policy in Israel will only affect the Beduin segment is simply not true to be polite. Given the circumstances I believe it was necessary.

All this simply points back to the initial argument, we are jumping hoops to accommodate the Arab enemy within our borders – economically, socially, and security wise. I can't help but imagine how we really could have turned all of Israel into a blooming paradise and not just the ghetto of Gush Dan where the majority of the population reside. I believe Yehuda Veshomron today could have been the bustling economy that Tel Aviv presently is and I believe it is insane that a Jew fears to traverse his/her own country and visit any Arab villiage for fear of his life let alone any neighboring 22 Arab states that surround us, all the while, our cities are frequented with Arab visitors & commuters causing alarm and added security costs wherever they go. As Chazal say, one who shows kindness to the cruel will at the end be cruel to the Kind. This seems to be the results. Today, the Jewish people seem to continue suffering poverty while billions are poured into staving off Arab attackers. Displaced Jews remain disillusioned so that our government bows to Arab enemy demands of land for nothing. Security has spiraled to a dismal low while residents accept daily rockets of terror and our government have dropped all red lines of acceptance as they run to embrace any Arab who might only "recognize" us. The working class continue to bear the bulk of the load with an average astronomical and unbearable tax rate of 65% while sending off their children to fight in an army that their government officials have avoided themselves (refer to Olmert's son in France).

Jabotinsky was vindicated at the end when a state of Israel surfaced on the Horizon as the only probable outcome in British debate. All the while, the Labour party under Ben Gurion and Chaim Weizmann folded to pressure and probabilities years earlier to merely accept Jewish communities in Palestine under British rule to suffice as a substitute of our dreams. Herzl too, stood toward the impossible dream for if he willed it was not a dream. Both were successful since they exhibited accordance to the Biblical treatise and promise of the Jewish People's return to Israel. Even if they didn't know it. It is now up to us, to complete the treatise and make Israel a Jewish state bounded by Torah law that will grant citizens of all religions to reside in the country with complete personal rights but no political rights. We must shake off the fear of difference with other democracies and do what's right for us and called upon us to do distinctly. This too will be inevitable, the question is which political leader will be bold to pick up the torch that Herzl left that was picked up by Jabotinsky that was later picked up by R' Kahane and now left open for the takings.

Once again, thank you in advance to respond at will to any aforementioned points above.
Best Wishes
Yehoshua Pinto

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