Photo: Gil Yohanan
Naftali Bennett
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Aviad Kleinberg

Trick question

Op-ed: Bennett's call for referendum an attempt to place another obstacle on road to peace agreement

Naftali Bennett wants a referendum. If the government will ask to withdraw from areas in Greater Israel, it will have to be put to a referendum. Why is this so important to him? I suppose it is not for the sake of democracy. Even Judaism (which in its current format advocates a process in which a small group of people who were not elected by the entire community make all the decisions) is not the issue. Bennett wants a referendum in order to add another obstacle on the way to a peace deal. That's all.


Even if a miracle happens and the Israeli and Palestinian governments do reach an agreement, and even if another miracle occurs and the Knesset approves such an agreement, it still would not mean that the leader of the Habayit Hayehudi party has run out of options, because of the referendum. It will be possible to warn the nation of a civil war and the "destruction of the Temple."


A thousand and one reasons can be found not to trust the Arabs, not to trust the elected officials and not to trust the government – but to trust only God and his certified interpreters. If God so wishes, the abominable agreement will be torn up and burned in the flames of the national dispute, and we will be able to return to the great situation we are currently in – without a solution but with outposts; without international support but with a lot of faith in the Lord.


The only explanation for Habayit Hayehudi's willingness to support negotiations is that the party's members hope they will not lead to anything; that the talks will not result in action and will be conducted only to get the goyim off our back. Negotiations? Why not? As long as nothing comes out of them. If, in addition to the referendum, the government would have to seek the approval of the Torah sages, that would be even better.


The people are waiting

Come to think of it, what's so bad about the idea of a referendum? While it is true that its advocates do not really want to find out what the people think and are merely trying to make it harder to reach an agreement, the idea in itself is not bad, apart from the fact that Israel is a representative democracy. Fateful decisions are made by elected Knesset members and not put to the people's vote. The elected officials can decide on every issue; this is precisely what they were elected for. They determine the national goals in all areas and no one demands to hold a referendum on the matter.


Here are some questions that actually should be put to a referendum: Should we continue the political arrangement that grants only certain sectors the right to serve or not to serve in the army? Should all martial issues in the State of Israel be left in the hands of a corrupt rabbinical institution which awards cronies and ignores the needs of the non-believing community it holds captive? Should excessive benefits be given to tycoons while the bill for their "haircuts" is handed over to the taxpayers?


And I have another issue that should be put to a referendum. The members of Habayit Hayehudi will particularly like this one: Is it appropriate to continue the transfer of huge sums of money to settlements beyond the Green Line? Should we allow the settlers to continue to ignore the law and build wherever and whenever they please?


The referendum opens up a world of possibilities. The people are waiting.



פרסום ראשון: 07.24.13, 11:17
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