Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Of Lies and Alternatives: An open Letter to HaRav Zalman Baruch Melamed and Ketzeleh

By Jason Gold

(Ed. note: Within several days of each other last week, articles appeared on INN written by or containing information from HaRav Melamed or Ketzeleh about how the government lied to them about new housing construction and what alternatives exist).

Dear HaRav Melamed and Ketzeleh:

I have read your recent articles/op eds on INN last week and thought I could offer some insights.

HaRav Melamed, you are a tremendous talmud chacham and Rosh HaYeshiva in Beit El. Your shiurim show depth and I look forward to them on a weekly basis.  But are you really so surprised that the government would lie to you? I can only conclude that because you are a tzaddik, an ish emes (man of truthand a yashar (upright) person, that you assume, dan l'caf zechut (judging someone for the best), that the people sitting across from you and promising housing must be honorable as well.  To your way of thinking, they would never lie when it comes to doing what's best for the land and the people. But as you have unfortunately found out, they do lie and quite regularly when it suits them. They don't care about you at all except for one period of time; i.e. election time.  Then they will say anything and promise everything in order to get your vote.  

Ketzeleh, you are a war hero and a wonderful person whom I have admired and respected as you have practically built Beit El with your bare hands.  And you at least have it half right. You identify the problem of Beit El being similar to a battered spouse who takes abuse over and over again and does nothing about it.  You even attempt to identify a solution but again you become that battered spouse and fail miserably.  You identify four other secular candidates in Likud as possible replacements for Netanyahu. Seriously? Do you really believe that any of them, once in power will be any better than Bibi right now? As I mentioned above, they will promise much and deliver nothing.  And I find it equally fascinating that you did not mention Naftali Bennett or Uri Ariel in your candidate wish list. Both are wonderful, good-hearted Gd-fearing people but utterly useless in changing the status quo as they have demonstrated with their failure on Amona and the current housing freeze.

The late great Adir Zik, zt"l, once told me the following when I asked him why the religious zionist settlers don't back someone like Moshe Feiglin.  He said the religious zionist settlers as a group have a built-in inferiority complex and don't believe that someone who looks like them (i.e. a kippa-wearing observant Jew) can ever become PM of Israel.  Also, someone like that would never be acceptable to the goyim. So, content to be second class citizens in their own land, they back failed secular messiah after failed secular messiah, who all have 12 hour planning horizons as Ketzeleh is proposing. And yet Feiglin along with his Zehut party is the ONLY potential PM candidate that actually has a written documented plan to lead the country.  

Gentlemen, it is well past time to realize that failed policies and attitudes are why Beit El and the other settlements are still just settlements and not immovable cities with non-transferable populations like Modi'in and Ma'aleh Adumim.  It is time to realize that only faith-based leadership and not some poseur secular messiah will help not only you but also the other neglected people who get only lip service at election time, like the hungry in J'lem and other cities, the terrified elderly in South Tel Aviv, the drug addict in Be'er Sheva, et al. It goes on and on.  

Continuing on this path is more than just wrong, or battered wife syndrome. It is insanity and as we know the apocryphal definition of insanity as given by Einstein is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".  

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