Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Choosing Your Comforters

I can't stand our Minister for (Re)Education, Yuli Tamir. The woman is a dogmatic, politically correct, radical Post-Modernist, neo-Stalinist demagogue. Judging from her essay in a book about secular Israelis, she never met a Jew (and a fortiori a settler) she ever liked or respected. She has spent her entire tenure devoted to two purposes: 1) Recasting the school curricula to advance her political agenda. (This led to her departure as head of the Rabin Center. She was even too much for them.) 2) Eviscerating the national-religious educational system. (Ostensibly, she is redirecting funds for the legitimate purpose of advancing the education of Israeli Arabs. The problem is that she is taking money solely from the religious stream.)

Yuli Tamir will go to the ends of the earth to delegitimize anything or anyone who is Jewish or Zionist. I have no doubt that it is for that reason that she made a highly publicized,
unannounced visit to Merkaz haRav, in the wake of Thursday Night's massacre. She got what she was looking for. A few students shouted epithets at her, and she responded:

"I left the place with great pain but not with a decision to do anything at this painful moment. It is enough for us this pain that has to be dealt with and it is not necessary to add to it. But behind it is something that should concern us greatly. Again, we are talking about a state school, funded by the State, part of the body of the State. It cannot be that the messages that it passes on to its students - also in an hour of dispute - and this wasn't the only dispute that there was nor the only dispute that there will be in the public life of the State of Israel. And we ask and require that our schools will know to bridge disputes and not deepen them. We are tested during times of crises and the questions is if the education that is given at the yeshiva and places similar to it is truly an education that accepts the State and it democratic institutions with honor. I cannot say to you that as the minister of education I am confident there is true democratic activity there," Tamir warned.

Tamir, who as I said puts
Mikhail Suslov to shame, never heard of free speech. She never heard of the right of people to express their pain. Free Speech, in her book, like democracy is limited to those who think as she does. (Recall Yitzhak ben Aharon's famous declaration that Begin's election was not binding. Why? Because a non-socialist was elected.) She also never heard of the rule that mourners have a right not to receive certain people as comforters.

Nevertheless, I think it's a mistake to act out with such people.

All we do is hand them more ammunition with which to attack us. The incident with Tamir gave the media an opportunity to rid itself of the intolerable need to relate positively to the 'Source of all Evil' (i.e. Merkaz HaRav and all it represents), and to return to the ongoing campaign of villification and demonization of Religious Zionism upon which it thrives.

It would have been much better to allow the visit, carefully limit it and come out looking better.

As my mother, who had an innate sense of what to do inimpossible situations with people you absolutely can't stand, would say:

'Do the Correct Thing.'

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