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Sunday, April 03, 2022 

No, the Haredi clans shouldn't run the city council, but neither should the columnist take a naive view of Islam

A Jerusalem Post columnist is making an argument against Haredis being able to run everyone's lives at the city hall:
Last Thursday, as evening fell on the city, two events that are some of the thousand faces of the city were held in two geographically close places. At the Agron Hostel, three members of the City Council, Laura Warton, Yossi Havilio and Fleur Hassan-Nahum, launched “The Lobby for Freedom in Jerusalem” and presented it’s main idea – to free Jerusalem from the strong grip of the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) at city council.
This is fine in itself, but, there's one little problem they seem to allude to here in very disinterested form:
Is Jerusalem not free? The decent answer must really not be to this question. No one stops anyone in the city squares who doesn’t behave as they do. Jerusalemites as well as guests in the city can eat a sandwich during Ramadan in the east of the city, and Jews (or non-Jews) can sit at a non-kosher restaurant on weekdays and holidays, including eating hametz on Passover, without risking anything, not even a grim look.

But the feeling for many is that it is only on paper, and that in fact, a minority – even if not a small one – that is, the ultra-Orthodox residents who make up about a third of the entire city and about 29% of the Jewish population, bite the choices of other Jewish residents in countless ways and places.
Even if it's wrong to dictate what people may or may not eat during the holiday, rather than let the Lord judge the diners, the whole notion nobody in Muslim communities will suffer if they eat during Ramadan in east Jerusalem is awfully naive, and it's ill-advised to think this couldn't possibly happen. Yet this is hardly a surprise coming from the Post, given how left-wing they are today, that they'll ignore one problem and only focus on the other, seemingly easier one.
This situation is possible because time and time again, in the mayoral and city council elections, the ultra-Orthodox public shows up on an impressive scale (and let’s give up these legends about resurrected dead to vote and other suspicions) while non-haredim, who excel in hesitating, will eventually go to the sea or shopping instead of going to the polls. And the rules of the game are clear: Whoever votes, influences.

The new lobby, which seeks to balance the situation through activity and activism, is a great idea – since whoever joins and starts acting on the matter will in the end be a resident who will also vote.
While I recognize the concerns as valid, I will say that, if this is being told by a leftist, that's decidedly dampening the impact of the op-ed, since then, it's hardly altruistic if they have no similar worries about Muslim influence within Jerusalem, or anywhere else. That's why conservatives in Israel have to take up the issues at hand, if they really don't want to come off looking soft on clans who could be as socialist as the secular left themselves.

Since we're on the topic, last month, there was another incident where a Haredi mob blocked a train out of anti-military motives:
Hundreds of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Peleg Yerushalmi Jews are protesting the arrest of a haredi who was arrested after refusing conscription to the IDF, Israeli media reported on Sunday.
This may not have happened in a while since last year, but clearly, the problem is still lurking, and the best way to prevent it is to freeze the assets of the clan gurus who doubtless incited this mess.

At the same time, it's crucial to note the atrocious Yair Lapid tried making secret deals with some clans, so they'd uphold some Knesset bills he wanted to pass:
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid has been holding secret meetings with a representative of the Gur Hassidim sect for negotiations on scrapping of bills considered anti-haredi (ultra-Orthodox), N12 reported on Sunday evening.

Negotiations were reportedly held over the last few months between Lapid and Yitzhak Shapira, the son-in-law of Gerrer rabbi Yaakov Aryeh Alter.

The talks focused on the scrapping of the kosher phones reform led by Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel. Hendel sought to reform what has been described as a monopoly of a rabbinic committee over the haredi kosher cellphone market.

According to the report, the foreign minister asked for a "security net" from haredi factions in Knesset votes for the next six months in exchange for the nixing of the kosher phones reform.
Well, this is most fascinating. On the one hand, what right do Haredi clan councils have to determine what their subjects can or cannot buy in terms of cellphones? On the other hand, why is Lapid willing to abandon trying to approve a legality that could provide Haredi consumers with defense? It practically proves Lapid was never really against the Haredis in the first place, and was only virtue-siganing for many years. What a disgrace.

That's why nobody in this country should let themselves be fooled by a phony like Lapid again. But only time will tell if there's any chance of mending this horrible mess his and Naftali Bennett's hijack of government caused.

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