Elections campaigns involve heated exchanges and the occasional insult hurled at a certain public or political figure. But this is all part of the democratic game, and when the campaign ends, or, at the latest, when the coalition negotiations come to a close, the politicians and the various factions bury the hatchet and there is a nation here that needs to be united. So, they at least try to demonstrate some sort of unity.
This is not what is happening here. Since the January elections, new politics has brought with it unprecedented displays of hatred and polarization. Tensions have risen to such a level that even someone as restrained as Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy was dragged into making an inappropriate comment against the ultra-Orthodox public, though he recognized his mistake and retracted his comment.
I hope all this is not part of a carefully timed campaign aimed at diverting the public's attention from the main economic issue. I am sure we can all agree that the public discussion should focus solely on the harsh economic measures planned by the Treasury. No other topic should be debated.
I am aware of the fact that there are those who are trying to drag us into this vulgar discussion of vilification, and to those people I say: We will not play into anyone's hands. It is time that you wake up, before it will be too late. The elections took place three months ago, and as elected public officials it is our duty to unite the nation – not divide it.
Make no mistake, Shas, as a faction in the Opposition, will do all it can t prevent the harsh economic measures that threaten to take way the bread from so many segments of the Israeli population. All those who are threatened by these measures have one thing in common – they do not reside in Tel Aviv. We will fight forcefully, we will argue and confront, but we will do so in a way that will respect us as elected officials and the nation we represent.
The nation of Israel is like a very large orchestra. If you separate the musicians, all you will hear are the annoying screeching sounds of the violin. But if we play together, we will make beautiful music. Let's do all we can not to ruin this concert.
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