Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

3 Shevat 5759 - Jan. 20, 1999 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly







Barak Attacks Chareidim and other "Extremists"

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Ehud Barak, Chairman of the Labor party, sharply attacked Prime Minster Netanyahu recently and repeatedly pronounced rallying cries against the settlements, the yeshivas and all "extremists." In a rejoinder, Netanyahu said that Barak has nothing new to say except for hollow slogans, and that he evades all of the issues on the agenda.

In his speech to the committee of the Labor Party, Barak attacked Netanyahu, and claimed that only the Labor party with its historic way can lead the State. He then repeated his well known slogans about the "extremists." Barak once more enumerated his priorities, and said that one must not give the settlements, the yeshivas or the organizations money, and should instead transfer them to educational endeavors, the unemployed and the sick. "Political blackmail cannot be perpetrated in the name of religion," Barak said.

Barak later delivered a political speech in which he detailed his party's platform and did not reject the idea of establishing a Palestinian state. He sought to neutralize Netanyahu's reaction in the media in advance by enumerating the failures of Netanyahu's government, especially in the social realm.

In response, the Prime Minster said that Barak constantly repeats empty slogans without saying anything new. Netanyahu also said that Barak wants to return the nation to the former situation in which terror and fear prevailed. In addition, he noted that the Government's economic measures were instituted for the benefit of the weaker sectors of the country. "On the advice of his American media advisors, Barak repeatedly refers to the extremists."

In response to Netanyahu's remarks, Amnon Shachak said that the election system is doing a repeat performance, and only a centrist candidate such as he can restore the sanity of the country.

MK Benny Begin, an announced right wing candidate for Prime Minister, attacked Barak and defined his remarks as wild attacks against the yeshivas and settlements. "In Barak's circles the study of Buddhism is legitimate, and there is money for that, while there is no money for Torah studies or the yeshivas. Why is there money for the study of astrology and none for the study of gemora in the yeshivas?" Begin sharply criticized the severely provocative remarks which Barak constantly spouts.

Begin noted that students from abroad come to Israel and study in higher yeshivas where they gain credits which they can use in their home universities. But here in Israel, Barak incites against yeshiva study. Begin has not previously defended the religious point of view.


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