One of the more notable details of the last election was the
venom with which the political left lashed out at the Torah-
Convinced that the chareidi neighborhoods were hotbeds of
massive voter fraud, the left wing called in an army of
"observers" to make sure all of our votes were honest.
One of those observers was Professor Ariel Rubinstein, a
lecturer in economics in the Tel Aviv University. He
recently publicized his more sober impressions in
Ha'aretz, after the encounter with the truth freed him
from a number of preconceived notions.
Professor Rubinstein was called to serve as an observer in a
polling station defined by the leftists as "difficult" and
Although he is a card-carrying member of the Barak camp,
Rubinstein writes that he was forced to admit that the
scaremongering campaign about a "wave of forgeries" had no
"One has to have many preconceived notions in order to
continue to believe in the existence of a huge "black
conspiracy" that forges the results of the elections in
His fellow observers apparently refused to see the light.
"Two weeks after the elections, they invited me to a summing
up discussion near Ramat Aviv Gimmel. Most of the attendees
belonged to a group which advocates the rule of law, public
order, separation of state and religion and supported
"The worst thing I heard was that someone identified a
chareidi who voted twice." No massive voter fraud. No
conspiracy. Just one person doing the wrong thing.
He added: "There was an assertive woman there, who boasted
that she was from one of the veteran kibbutzim in the
north, and then went on to vent her disgust for the chareidi
observer who sat with her in the polling station.
He concluded: "More than twenty years ago, we founded the
Peace Now movement, because we were disgusted by the attitude
of those who regarded Arabs as `two-footed animals'. Those of
us who wish to be philosophically consistent should be
equally shocked by the attitude toward the chareidim."
The same issue of Ha'aretz took note of the false
"tolerance" of the leftists. Doron Rosenblum wrote about a
media program which presented an "encounter between the
"For us the human being is the center," explained one of the
younger Meretz members to one of the Shas youngsters at
"But how aggressive, nervous and vociferous can that `man'
be, especially at a friendly encounter?
"With terrifying shouts, bulging neck veins, fire in the
eyes, outstretched hands ready to pierce their rivals eyes,
the leftist, secular youths tried to tell the chareidim about
the importance of humanism and dialogue," Rosenblum wrote.
Rosenblum adds: "As if to teach us about how the other side
talks to each other, one of the Shas youngsters was seen
leaving the discussion, delightedly saying: `Nice, agreeable
people...it's possible to speak with everyone."
"Yes, a congenial and pleasant atmosphere...screaming at the
top of your lungs," Rosenblum concluded.