Monday, April 26, 2010

Being Even-Handed

I know I take a lot of jabs at Haredim. But I don't want people to think I am under the illusion that non-Orthodox, or secular, Jews, can do no wrong.

So in the best tradition of removing the timber from one's own eye, I present... a secular Israeli who is a complete asshole.

During his program "Non-Stop Radio", Gazit called the Haredim "leeches," "parasites" and "worms", saying they should be sent out of the country or else kept within their own neighborhoods, disconnected from the national water and electricity grids.

Take note, people: I'm saying it loud and proud. This guy is a jackass. The fact that some Haredim are jerks (or act like jerks) is a legitimate point. The fact that they have special privileges in Israeli society that others might see as really unfair is also a legitimate point. Bashing an entire community, however, to the point of dehumanizing them and advocating expelling them from their country, is so far past the line of decency that you might as well be in a different time zone.

Here's a hint for Mr. Gazit: Israel's biggest problem isn't the Haredi sector. Neither, for the record, is it the Mafdal sector, secular sector, or even Arab sector. It's the fact that every time a mob of idiots does something stupid, rather than trying to seek out reasonable spokespeople within those communities and try to work on strengthening relations between the different groups in Israel, people instead circle their respective wagons and start bashing whatever group or denomination the idiots crawled out of-- thereby alienating everyone in that group even further. If you're lucky, they may even start screaming about libel and try to get you charged with incitement, thereby wasting everybody's time and attention, not to mention taxpayer money.

Honestly, the only silver lining in this whole incident has been the comment from Uri Orbach, who appears to be the only MK who is capable of keeping his head along with a sense of humor:
MK Uri Orbach said to Ynet, "The Israeli public is mature enough to avoid rising to such childish provocations. Cursing settlers and stalking Haredim who didn't stand to attention during the siren (marking Israel's Memorial Day) is so outdated, almost like listening to Gabi Gazit."
Wise words.

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