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Sunday, January 20, 2013 

Satmar sect trying to interfere in elections

With only 2 days to go before the Israeli elections, the awful Satmar sect is trying to influence the Haredi vote:
The anti-Zionist Satmar Chassidic sect is firmly in the 'no voting' camp. The group’s leader will be in Israel this week for a granddaughter’s wedding, and while in the country plans to speak out against participation in Israel’s elections.

He will speak at a rally organized by the Eida Hareidit, a major representative group in the Ashkenazi hareidi world that is known for its strong anti-Zionist views.

In recent days posters were put up around Jerusalem calling on the hareidi community not to vote. “The hareidi community is in its most difficult period yet,” the posters argued, “The government is trying to undermine the essence of hareidi Judaism.” [...]

In the other camp, Rabbi Gershon Edelstein of the Ponevezh Yeshiva has declared that those who choose not to vote “have no share in the World to Come.”

Rabbi Edelstein said that whoever does not vote is considered to have separated himself from the community, an action that commentator Rabbeinu Yona once declared causes a person to lose their share in the world to come.

The only thing preventing the government from enlisting yeshiva students to the IDF is hareidi-religious MKs, Rabbi Edelstein argued. “We must take action to bring as many hareidi representatives as possible [into Knesset] so they can act against the decree of enlistment,” he said.

One thing both the pro- and anti-voting camps agree on is their desire to prevent the government from requiring full-time yeshiva students to enlist in the IDF. The question of hareidi-religious IDF enlistment has been a major one in the campaign, following the cancellation several months ago of the Tal Law, which granted an automatic deferral to yeshiva students.
This is the most bothersome part - what they have a problem with as it turns out, is the army service. Good grief. It's not the threat of Iran's nuclears or the PLO's terrorism, it's just sharing the burden of contributing to the development of this country. On the one hand, as much as I really disapprove of both the leading Haredi parties based on these positions they have, it's really not good that Satmar is trying to pull this insult to the intellect. On the other hand, it's sad that Edelstein is the kind of rabbi who advocates voting for the parties based on opposition to army service. I guess this serves as an example of how and why the Haredi world just isn't presenting a good role model.

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