Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid: Not Haredi-Haters

Sir, - Shas's labeling of the Bennet-Lapid ties as a "bond of hating ultra-Orthodox" is utterly reprehensible. Besides being completely false, it appears to be maliciously slanderous. It most unfortunately and gratuitously injects the element of hatred where it is not present, and it thus further tears asunder the national cohesiveness that we so desperately need.

Not having participated in the convoluted political maneuvering of coalition building, I cannot and will not attempt to rationalize or justify any of the machinations involved, but I most assuredly assert that they are not at all grounded in hatred. The contrary seems to be closer to the truth. Both Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid have clearly stated and demonstrated their respect for Torah Learning and have stressed its importance in our national calculus. They do have differences with the Haredi parties on plans for trying to find solutions to the very real problems of equitably sharing in the national burden of military and civilian service. My impressions are that they are sincere and not in the least motivated by hatred of Haredim. In fact, it was the Shas mentor who was first to introduce contempt for the other side by labeling the 'Bayit Yehudi' membership as "goyim."

At a time when our country is surrounded by increasing hostility and hatred it is of the utmost importance that we do everything possible to establish a completely unified sense of national purpose.

Petach Tikva

[Image credit: Wikimedia]