Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Who Does He Think He's Fooling?

UTJ head, MK Moshe Gafni (VIN)
You would think that MK Moshe Gafni (who is head of the Charedi political party, UTJ) was a bit more intelligent than his recent rant indicated. But I guess the irony of his words supporting his critics instead of his own constituency escapes him. VIN reports the following: 

In a fiery speech responding to the growing incitement against chareidim in Israel, UTJ leader Moshe Gafni spoke about his brother, who fought in the first Lebanon war and about his granddaughter who received inferior budgets for her education in comparison with secular students…

“My brother, who is even more chareidi than me, was in the Peace for Galilee operation. He was at the fight in Sultan Yaakub [June 1982 tank battle], in mortal danger. We were sure that, heaven forfend, he had been killed in that battle. He volunteered- he’s chareidi, if you saw him you would say: parasite, go to the army… 

Gafni added that “I have a granddaughter, she works, got married and had a son, my first great-grandson. She’s a young woman, working in hi-tech, makes good money, contributes to the economy together with her chareidi friends who studied with her in Wolf seminar in Bnei Brak… 

She learned all of the disciplines, whatever was needed for her profession. Unfortunately her school was poorly funded. Every time there are different excuses, they learn all the core curriculum, she’s working in hi-tech but people are sitting here and saying she doesn’t deserve [to be funded]. 

The fact that Gafni’s even more Charedi’ brother volunteered to join the IDF and serve in dangerous combat missions merely highlights the fact that he is the exception that proves the rule. A rule that is as clear as the sun. 

Charedim are 100% opposed to serving in the military. Even in areas that do not include dangerous assignments. They insist that all Yeshiva students be completely exempt. They see the IDF as a danger to their spirituality that will negatively impact their religious values and level of observance.  Not the least of which are all the negative sexual situations and promiscuity that exist between male and female recruits.  The idea of Charedi soldiers participating with a female soldier in in any kind of military operation is  prescription for violating sinful sexual behavior. All of those influences increase their chances of going OTD. 

But even if they were guaranteed serving in all Charedi units designed to respect their religious stringencies they are still opposed. They believe that Torah study is mandated for every male. As a practical matter military service would cut that obligation short. Short changing their obligation to study Torah full time for as long as possible. They also consider secular Zionism (even religious Zionism) as anathema to the Torah.

That Gafni’s brother volunteered for dangerous army service says more about his brother personally than it does about the Charedi Hashkafa which is the diametric opposite of what his brother did. 

That his Charedi granddaughter joined the workforce in a highly technical field requiring a lot of training says nothing about the lack of training Charedi men get. It might surprise Gafni to know that his granddaughter is a woman.  Charedi women actually do get an education in core secular subjects. Making his granddaughter more prepared for the type of technical courses she needed to get the job she has. 

I have no problem with schools specifically designed to  help Charedim get the training they need for the kind of jobs his granddaughter got. But that Charedi men have no education whatsoever beyond 8th grade makes catching  to their female counterparts a lot harder. Not all men are able to catch up.  Add to that the fact that it is Charedi women that now support their families makes it no surprise that his grand daughter has a great job.

It would not surprise me that there are more Charedi women the workforce than there are Charedi men.. The fact that women get a better education probably also means that Charedi women probably have better paying jobs thant Charedi men.

Who does Gafni think he’s fooling with this rather stupid outburst?! He has convinced no one with his defense of Charedim getting a all that money. I assume he is referring to the over billion dollars their schools are getting. But those schools have nothing to do with his granddaughter education. 

Additionally, the complaints by non Charedim that Charedim do not serve in the military are legitimate. Despite his protestations to the contrary. Protestations that his feeble defense did nothing to advance.