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Wednesday, August 17, 2005 

Changes in the works for a better future

Barry Freedman of the Jewish Star in New York has some good observations on his Galilee Blog to offer on how Ariel Sharon and the world are in for some surprises in the future:
The changes that will take place will be both political and spiritual. That Sharon’s expulsion is aimed at the destruction of the religious Zionist community, if not ultimately at all of the religious community, is a perception that is natural and growing, and it will be this perception, which has already taken full root, that will drive a sea change.

These changes, both the political and the spiritual, can be seen in the words of Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat and son of former Chief Rabbi of Israel, Mordechai Eliyahu, after his visit earlier this week with Ariel Sharon.

Rabbi Eliyahu said; "We told Sharon that we have learned our lesson, and that we will never again vote for people who do not come from a background of faith. We, as a public, will end up stronger, and we will not vote for people like him, people who ruin the country."
And who could blame them? Sharon's own background is certainly very questionable, if anything, and his expulsion activities this week only serves to compound that fact. Plus:
There is a growing sense that the whole system must be changed so that the government will never again be hijacked by one man – a system that creates true representative government. Professor Paul Eidelberg of Bar Ilan University has been working on a blueprint for these changes for decades and the current crises has shown the necessity to bring his ideas to the forefront of political debate. His ideas can be seen on his website “Israel Future Government” (http://futureisrael.org/). Michael Kleiner, former Herut MK, is working on a program that parallels Professor Eidelberg’s ideas. These are ideas whose time has come.

Eidelberg shows how ripe the whole county is for political change. He writes; “A survey commissioned by former Knesset Speaker Abraham Burg indicates that almost 90% of the people in Israel are disgusted with their system of government. An increasing majority feel powerless despite periodic, multi-party elections.”

According to Eidelberg, and correctly so, it is specifically Sharon’s “leadership” that has brought the situation to this point of disgust:

“Although Ariel Sharon was elected in February 2001 by a landslide victory to put an end to Arab terror, more than 1,000 Jews have been murdered under his premiership, some 6,000 have been wounded—many maimed for life—to which add the tens of thousands of children suffering from post-traumatic shock syndrome! … Sharon’s premiership has been an unmitigated disaster. And what is also shocking, critical analysis of Israel’s system of government reveals that it is not representative of the people …”
Very true, certainly now. And let's not forget that indeed, under Sharon's rule, there was a very heavy casualty list in the past few years, and what he did this week by expelling many Jews from their homes in Gaza certainly doesn't help matters.

As for backgrounds of faith, there's one important point to make: when you take into account the Shas party, which is a religiously affiliated one, and which helped the Labor party to form a government and tolerated the Oslo agreement years ago...that's exactly why even religious politicians are to be considered with caution.

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