Op-Ed: Where is our Litzman?

So, the crisis has been eliminated, the coalition is stronger than ever, and the present government is the best in the history of Israel. This was stated by Netanyahu, having reached an agreement with ultra-Orthodox factions.

With regard to the work of stores on Saturdays, the status quo will remain, with the exception of businesses already open in Tel Aviv. The next Sunday, a “law on supermarkets” will be voted on, giving the Minister of Internal Affairs the right to decide on closing the businesses in Shabbat. Thus, the Haredim have achieved that the experience of the “free city” of Tel Aviv will not spread to the whole of Israel.

As for the repair work on the railway, because of which the whole fuss broke out, they will be held on Saturdays only as a last resort, taking into account economic considerations, the needs of the population and respect for Jewish traditions. The wording is rather vague, but since the government promised to no longer carry out repairs on weekdays, many joyfully announced the victory of Netanyahu.

Football matches will continue to be held on Saturdays and even receive special permits for this. The ultra-Orthodox parties promised to accept this situation and preserve the coalition stability.

Deputy Yaakov Litsman still will not return to the post of Minister of Health, not to be responsible for the actions of the government, questionable from the point of view of observance of Shabbat. Instead, he will continue to lead the ministry as deputy minister; formally the agency will head Netanyahu.

This procedure was banned by the BAGAC in 2015, but the Knesset intends to adopt an amendment to the Basic Law on Government, which circumvents the court decision. As the chairman of the coalition David Bitan explained, there is no contradiction here, since the High Court made a decision when the relevant law was not yet available.

Initially, it was clear that Netanyahu will make any concessions to the Haredim, because for him the coalition is above all. In this case, it strengthens not only the present, but also the future coalition, creating a lasting and lasting alliance with ultra-Orthodox parties.

He does not have anything else against the background of the polls that give Yair Lapid’s party as many mandates as Likud.

In addition, Bibi once again made it clear that the next government – at least as he sees it – will not practically differ from today’s: neither “Yesh Atid” nor “Labor” hope for anything.

Now Lapidus can only write new lawsuits in the BAGAC, which does not add to his popularity. True, the center-left camp can count more and more on attracting the voices of secular Israelis, who are concerned about the harediage of the country.

Despite compromise solutions, the status quo is shifting towards religion; for example, Transport Minister Yisrael Katz is preparing a bill on Saturday works, using in it such language as “damage to Jewish traditions” and “insulting the feelings of believers.” Yaakov Litsman recently recalled that he can get tens of thousands of votes, one by one only from the word of a Gurk rabbi. In other words, today it is the Gursky and other rabbis who decide the destiny of the state, it is to them that the government listens.

Which approach is closer to the Israelis, will show the next election. But the Russian-speaking diaspora can only regret that in due time we did not follow that path.

We were persuaded from the very beginning that the sectoral party is not needed – this is a forced measure, its success is short-lived and it will not achieve anything. Therefore, all the major movements that were created or positioned themselves as “Russian” (“Olim”), or sought to become all-Israeli, or their main forces were resolved by other parties. As a result, we have many successful Russian-speaking politicians who have no particular result in upholding the laws in favor of repatriates – but there is no party that could set the conditions for the government and achieve its goals, as haredim does.

We do not have our own Litzman capable of causing such a crisis, that the Prime Minister will offer him any blessings for the sake of preserving the coalition.

There is no Dery, whose authority as the Minister of Internal Affairs is higher than the decisions of the BAGAC. Our electoral potential is hardly less than that of the Gur Khasids.