Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



One Pie, No Peace

Binyamin Rose

At 10% of the Israeli population, chareidim should not be the make-or-break force behindIsrael’s $200 billion a year economy. Yet in a recent Knesset debate,Israel’s deputy finance minister declared that if chareidim don’t go out to work,Israel’s economy will collapse. To understand this statement and why many Israelis accept it as truth, it is important to understand the mix of fact, fiction, and political posturing that underlies much of the recent confrontational political debate.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

demonstration In the winner-takes-all world of politics, where the spoils belong to the victor and the vanquished must suffice with crumbs, the temptation is always strong to beat the losing side into a corner and pin them there.

WitnessIsrael’s current “chareidi” problem. Leading politicians have presented chareidim as the major source of social, financial, and societal ills, as if the forward momentum ofIsrael’s economy is contingent upon chareidim earning more and learning less.

That view can be a one-dimensional picture — similar to the one propounding that a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the foundation stone for lasting peace in theMiddle East.

Seeking peace, as well as increasing employment and economic prosperity, are indeed values worth pursuing, provided they form part of an underlying national strategy and that the rewards and benefits outweigh the risks and the costs.

Just as Middle East turmoil has shown the Arab-Israeli dispute to be a sideshow in a much larger regional — even global — picture, it might one day become equally clear that the road to prosperity doesn’t run through Meah Shearim Street, as implied by the simplistic attitude and jingoistic approach that drives much of today’s debate over “shivyon b’netel,” or sharing the burden.

Some chareidi forces view the government as an intractable enemy and call for an uncompromising stance — confident that eventually, the enemy will give in or crumble. These forces mainly belong to chareidi groups that have never, and will never reconcile with the State of Israel. Other chareidi groups take an alternative approach, advocating careful negotiations that do not compromise core Torah values.

The chareidi community may be a minority at 10–11% of the population, but in reality, it’s part of a vaster majority that is already sharing in many of the burdens imposed by virtue ofIsrael’s lopsided economic system.

 

 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Using Our Free Will Effectively
Yonoson Rosenblum The image we carry of ourselves is key
Pitcher-Perfect
Eytan Kobre The ripple effects of one Jew’s kiddush Sheim Shamayim
Living the High Life
Rabbi Avrohom Neuberger It is exhilarating to matter, to be truly alive
It’s Time for Us to Speak Up
Rabbi Dovid Eliezrie We must speak out proudly for the values of Yiddishkeit
Kiruv Is Not Dead
Rabbi Meir Goldberg Do these sound like uninspired or closed students?
Frosting on the Cake
Rabbi Ron Yitzchok Eisenman “Let’s not let a missing chocolate cake ruin our siyum!”
A Warm Corner in Flatbush
Yosef Zoimen It was a simple shul with a choshuve leader
Out of Control
Jacob L. Freedman “That’s illegal, Dr. Fine. I can’t have a part in this”
Song of Reckoning in the Skulener Court
Riki Goldstein “It’s awe-inspiring to watch the Rebbe sing this song”
“U’teshuvah, U’tefillah, U’tzedakah”
Riki Goldstein Throughout the Yamim Noraim, three words accompany us
The Rebbe Held His Gaze
Riki Goldstein A moment etched in Reb Dovid Werdyger’s memory forever
The Road Taken
Faigy Peritzman In the end it’s clear who really merits true happiness
Sincere Apology
Sarah Chana Radcliffe A heartfelt and complete apology can turn things around
Power Pack of Mercy
Mrs. Shani Mendlowitz The 13 Attributes of Mercy are “an infinite treasure”
The Appraiser: Part II
D. Himy M.S. CCC-SLP, and Zivia Reischer “Eli needs to see people who struggled to achieve”