I never would have believed that I could write an article on such a distasteful subject. But I did and I do !
Democracy as we enjoy it is dying in our country. 80% of our Jewish population is being trampled by 20% of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, a group of parasites who give nothing of service to the State but take and demand everything from it.
For them, it is sufficient that non-ultras sacrifice their health and their lives to preserve the security of our country while they pray in their yeshivot to a God who does not hear… the same God who was silent to the cries of six million of our people being gassed and burned in the Holocaust.
Please allow me to begin with a statement of identity and commitment. I am an observant Jew. I pray every morning wearing tallit and tefillin, eat only kosher food and pray on Shabbat mornings in an Orthodox synagogue…. An Orthodox synagogue, not an ultra-Orthodox haven for cowards who fear being attached to military bases where beautiful female soldiers wear skirts.
The laws allowing exemption from military service for ultra-Orthodox young men are on this very day being re-examined by our Supreme Court and our Knesset. It is believable that if upheld, the ultra-Orthodox faction in our parliament will leave the coalition, creating a new crisis which will result in earlier elections.
Ben-Gurion’s 1948 government was at fault in exempting ultra-Orthodox Jewish males from national military service. We have paid the bitter price ever since.
For my spiritual comfort, I would be delighted to see our ultra-Orthodox young men move themselves out of Israel and re-locate to places like Uman where they would be more comfortable among the pious Jewish dead and where their voices could be overheard by the neighboring Ukrainian anti-Semites who profit significantly from Jewish pilgrimages.
For those who block our traffic on roads and highways with their bodies, to those who sit on the tracks of our light-rail in Jerusalem holding up traffic for hours, let them be dragged off to prison by our non-Orthodox police forces, let the government have the courage to cancel health and insurance benefits for those who despise our laws and let us find better ways to maintain a strong coalition without the “benefit” of ultra-Orthodox political parties in our Knesset.
That faction might find more happiness in Brooklyn, Monsey or Antwerp where they would be welcomed by religious brethren of like minds.
Oh for the days of HaRav ha Gaon Kook, an Orthodox Zionist giant who loved all Jews and who supported fervently the ideals of service to the Zionist dream of statehood and equal service to it.
Most of the haredim would be happier to see prime minister Netanyahu wearing a black kippa, black long coat with tzitzit hanging down to his knees. Instead, they see only a black vision of liberal democracy with freedom of religious expression and tolerance for all.
Regrettably, that is one of Herzl’s un-realized dreams. “If you will it, it is no legend”. 80% of our Jewish population will it in vain.
Nothing can change in our society until a ruling government coalition has the power, strength and determination to enforce our laws for all our citizens.
It is time for the ultra-Orthodox male protestors to change their clothes. Take off the black religious garments and put on the khaki military uniforms.
If you want to be an Israeli, act like an Israeli. Serve our country and defend it from all harm, internal and external.