Revisiting Chok Hagiyus // MK Yisrael Eichler on israel’s political turmoil

Q: It seems that we always have the opportunity to speak around this time of the year—either before or after Purim.
A: You’re catching me at a very good time because I was just speaking at the Knesset session about how Bigsan and Seresh tried to poison the king but they were found out in the end—just like the judge and the investigator who were found out yesterday conspiring against Netanyahu. [Ed. Note: There is an ongoing criminal investigation into the directors of the Bezeq telecommunications company that also involves Prime Minister Netanyahu. In the last few days, Whatsapp messages between the judge and the investigator showing the judge’s involvement and bias were discovered.]

Q: At the end of the day, was that a good or bad thing?
A: There were people who were saying that it’s a terrible day for Israel because of this, but I say that it’s a great day, because it shows everyone clearly that “rak ein yiras Elokim bamakom hazeh.” There’s no mora shamayim here; there are constant conspiracies between judges and investigators. I’m not even talking about the prime minister, against whom the police and the media have been trying to make a coup. But what can you do when everyone knows that in every case that ends up in the hands of the investigators the judges will give six or seven days of remanding into custody without evidence and they’re stuck there with their wounds? Right now the whole country is turning over because there are a few rich people who are stuck in jail in terrible health conditions [in the Bezeq case]. This is the case that’s public right now because of its high-profile nature; but what about all the other cases like this that happen on a daily basis with people sitting in jail in horrible conditions with no evidence against them?

Q: Do you believe that the fight against the prime minister is because the chareidim are in government?
A: I believe that 50 percent of the fight against Netanyahu is because he’s right-wing and the other 50 percent is because the chareidim are able to live in peace under his government.

Q: And is it takeh easier for chareidim to live under his government?
A: He’s the best of all the tzaros…

Q: He’s the best of the ten makos, as they say.
A: Exactly, because all of the others would be much worse. Yair Lapid is a rasha merusha who had his rishus inculcated as a child [by his father, who hated frum people]. Netanyahu is just like any other person who wants to rule and have everyone do as he says, but Lapid is a real sonei. And because no one else has a chance to be the next prime minister, it’s a real sakanah for us.

Q: I remember the debates that you had with Lapid’s father back when he was in government.
A: Yes, his father was even worse. His father couldn’t be mochel the Ribbono Shel Olam for forcing him to leave Hungary. He said that if not for the war he could’ve still been in Budapest eating chazir in a good restaurant, whereas in Israel he has to eat falafel.

Q: You’re always among the rosh hamedabrim for us when it comes to giyus. There have been rumblings that there are new developments taking place at the moment.
A: As you know, the Supreme Court invalidated the law allowing bachurim to not be drafted. We believe that legally they have no right to invalidate a law of the Knesset. But they did it anyway, so the next step is to make a new law. We have until Cheshvan 5779 to correct the law because, after that, the invalidation of the current law will go into effect. I believe that we have to take care of it before the budget for 2019 is passed, because once the budget is passed they won’t be willing to give us what we need. Even if we could believe that they would listen to us after the budget is passed, we don’t know how long Netanyahu will be able to stay in power. Right now he’s being torn to pieces; every animal is jumping on him as if they were in a forest and everyone is tearing flesh and blood. No one knows if he’ll be able to stick it out or if he’ll just give up and go home. Therefore, it’s very important for us to conclude the chok hagiyus before that happens.

Q: In other words, the biggest pressure to get something done right now is Netanyahu’s legal problems.
A: Yes. If not for that, we would have the entire summer to take care of it. But because they’re tearing pieces off of him, we have to do something now. The Gemara says that when an ox falls to the ground, all the shochatim and butchers take out their knives. With Netanyahu, the knives are already piercing him while he’s still on his feet. I don’t know how he still has koach to deal with all of it. It’s possible that they’ll finally break his legs and force him to elections, and if that happens before we do something, it’ll be a big problem.

To read more, subscribe to Ami