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Time to start a new movement in Israel: SLM – Secular Lives Matter

A recent Ynet news headline says it all: “Israel is not the property of the ultra-Orthodox”

And, if you are still not convinced by the takeover of the country by the Haredim, just consider this article: “Top ultra-Orthodox MK threatens party will exit coalition if yeshivas shuttered” “Despite embrace of mask wearing and social distancing, Haredi neighborhoods hit hard by second wave of coronavirus pandemic” “Over 200 students at a Bnei Brak yeshiva test positive (for COVID19)”

Just so it’s crystal clear, “MK Moshe Gafni has threatened to withdraw his ultra-Orthodox United Torah Judaism Party from the coalition if the government decides to close down yeshivas in the face of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

So, while the rest of the country’s citizens; Jews, Arabs, secular, religious, modern orthodox and all shades in between, adhere, reluctantly in some cases to the closing once again of gyms, beaches, entertainment venues, restrictions of restaurants, bars and much more – the Haredim throw down a challenge and the prime minister immediately agrees to their demands. After all, what is more important, the lives of Israeli citizens or preserving his coalition and hence his power base? You decide?

And Gafni was not the only one throwing down challenges. Not to be left out or upstaged, Arye Deri while agreeing to the new regulations, insisted that they do not include synagogues. He pushed to retain the current level of 50 per service which eventually was reduced to 19. How they arrived at 19 is anyone's guess. “The cabinet accepted a proposal by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri to keep synagogues open, but with a maximum occupancy of 19 people, down from the current 50. National broadcaster Kan reported that the decision was a compromise between Deri and the rest of the cabinet, which had sought to shutter houses of worship.”

And, also not wanting to be left out of the news, the third member of the Haredi ruling junta, Yaakov Litzman, got into the media act by attacking the police over a 13-year old girl that they made cry. “ Minister demands police be held to account for making maskless girl cry

Litzman claims that “members of the Haredi community are being targeted”. Maybe they are, simply because so many refuse to follow the guidelines regarding the wearing of masks and social distancing. Rather than climbing, once again, on his high horse, why doesn’t he ensure that his community is 100% following the recommended guidelines.

In the summer and fall of 1968, I was sold a bill of goods which, I bought into, lock, stock, and barrel. I was told of an Israel that is fore-filling the Zionist dream, of an Israel where Jews of all colors and all persuasions can live side-by-side with mutual respect for all.

Maybe that was true in 1968, it’s not true today. The headline “Israel is not the property of the ultra-Orthodox” says it all.

It’s time for secular, religious, and modern-orthodox Jews to take back their country.

It’s time to remind these parasites, admittedly not all, but certainly the majority, that citizenship of Israel comes with obligations and responsibilities to the State. (I take zero pleasure in calling them parasites, but regretfully many are!),

(This past weekend was an eye-opener for me. Much against my will, I attended an event in Safad. I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I can’t relate to the Haradim, I find their brainwashing intolerable, only they are right. )

True, some Haradim males serve in the army, although my understating is that the army does not want most of them. Many it seems are not sufficiently educated, they often lack social skills and have various health problems. All that said, there is no reason why Haradim youth, both male and female can not undertake a form of national service. Many girls from both religious and modern orthodox families select for this opinion, with the blessing of their families. Nothing bad happens. The opposite appears to be true, the girls prosper in their personal development and consequential can strive for a better future.

It’s time to remind prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the lives of ALL Israelis matter and for better or worse, he is the prime minister of all citizens of this country, not just the Haredim.

The prime minister needs to remember who he serves, all the citizens of Israel, or just the Haredim.

And, in case he has forgotten, which appears that he has, ALL citizens of Israel are equal and ALL citizens, not just some, ALL citizens, are required to adhere to the laws of the land.


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