May 02, 2007

Missed Opportunity

Now that even Olmert feels the ground slipping beneath his feet, the spotlight falls on those who are still proppping up his diescredited government.

Of these, the one that sticks in my kishkas most of all has always been Shas.

When it sprang to prominence with 17 Knesset seats in the 1999 election, Shas had a golden opportunity to shine amongst coalition partners as a refreshing Torah-true contrast to the corrupt and unprincipled ministers of the secular parties.

And Shas blew it !

Perhaps not so much by the conviction of their leader Arieh Deri for corruption. But by their protestation that Deri's crimes were no more serious than those of other secular ministers who had been let off lightly. Shas had the opportunity to introduce the Israeli public to the rare practice of 'tzedek tzedek tirdof' - the pursuit of honesty and righteousness in public service. But instead of aspiring to the Torah's standards, they felt they only needed to measure up to the next nearest political crook.

It's time for Shas to do teshuva and show a good example.
Eli Yishai should be the first to walk out of Olmert's cabinet - before Peretz and Lieberman. The longer he stays, the worse it will look for his party in the long run. People will say that whilst Kadima was willing to trade land for peace, Shas stuck around for as long as they could to trade land for yeshivas.

After suffering the bombardment of last summer, all citizens of Israel - religious or not - deserve the protection and security of a competent government which
is able to to work effectively with the military in defense of their homes and families. Shas has another opportunity here to do the right thing.

Let Yishai and his rabbi Ovadia Yosef not blow it again.
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