Sunday, March 16, 2014

No Surprise, I'm in The Minority or Today's News is Like the Purim Story

According to the Jerusalem Post, a recent poll shows that most Israelis are in favor of a referendum before giving Arabs our Land. I'm against it. I want a law that would protect us from fickle and foolish politicians and leaders.
A majority of the Jewish public supports the three key pieces of legislation that passed last week in the Knesset, according to a Gal Hadash poll published over the weekend in Israel Hayom.
The public backed the electoral reform package that raised the electoral threshold to 3.25 percent, the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) conscription bill, and the referendum legislation, the survey of 500 respondents representing a statistical sample of the Jewish population found.
The most popular of the three was the referendum bill, which would require asking the public before signing a deal to give up land inside pre-1967 Israel or land to which Israeli law has been applied since then. The bill is supported by 70.7% of the population and only 17% oppose it. The percentage saying they did not know was 12.3%.* (emphasis mine)
Sixty-one percent support the conscription bill, while 22.9% oppose it and 16.1% did not know.
When asked whether they supported raising the electoral threshold from 2% to 3.25%, 55.6% answered affirmatively, 15.5% said no and 28.9% did not know.
All these polls and referendum talks remind me of an early part of the Purim Megilla, aka Megillat (Scroll of) Esther in which King Achashveros asks his advisers what to do when his Queen Vashti refuses to appear at his whim, beck and call.
יב  וַתְּמָאֵן הַמַּלְכָּה וַשְׁתִּי, לָבוֹא בִּדְבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר, בְּיַד הַסָּרִיסִים; וַיִּקְצֹף הַמֶּלֶךְ מְאֹד, וַחֲמָתוֹ בָּעֲרָה בוֹ.  {ס}
12 But the queen Vashti refused to come at the king's commandment by the chamberlains; therefore was the king very wroth, and his anger burned in him. {S}
יג  וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ, לַחֲכָמִים יֹדְעֵי הָעִתִּים:  כִּי-כֵן, דְּבַר הַמֶּלֶךְ, לִפְנֵי, כָּל-יֹדְעֵי דָּת וָדִין.
13 Then the king said to the wise men, who knew the times--for so was the king's manner toward all that knew law and judgment;
יד  וְהַקָּרֹב אֵלָיו, כַּרְשְׁנָא שֵׁתָר אַדְמָתָא תַרְשִׁישׁ, מֶרֶס מַרְסְנָא, מְמוּכָן--שִׁבְעַת שָׂרֵי פָּרַס וּמָדַי, רֹאֵי פְּנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, הַיֹּשְׁבִים רִאשֹׁנָה, בַּמַּלְכוּת.
14 and the next unto him was Carshena, Shethar, Admatha, Tarshish, Meres, Marsena, and Memucan, the seven princes of Persia and Media, who saw the king's face, and sat the first in the kingdom:
טו  כְּדָת, מַה-לַּעֲשׂוֹת, בַּמַּלְכָּה, וַשְׁתִּי--עַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא-עָשְׂתָה, אֶת-מַאֲמַר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, בְּיַד, הַסָּרִיסִים.  {ס}
15 'What shall we do unto the queen Vashti according to law, forasmuch as she hath not done the bidding of the king Ahasuerus by the chamberlains?' {S}
טז  וַיֹּאמֶר מומכן (מְמוּכָן), לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ וְהַשָּׂרִים, לֹא עַל-הַמֶּלֶךְ לְבַדּוֹ, עָוְתָה וַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה:  כִּי עַל-כָּל-הַשָּׂרִים, וְעַל-כָּל-הָעַמִּים, אֲשֶׁר, בְּכָל-מְדִינוֹת הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ.
16 And Memucan answered before the king and the princes: 'Vashti the queen hath not done wrong to the king only, but also to all the princes, and to all the peoples, that are in all the provinces of the king Ahasuerus.
יז  כִּי-יֵצֵא דְבַר-הַמַּלְכָּה עַל-כָּל-הַנָּשִׁים, לְהַבְזוֹת בַּעְלֵיהֶן בְּעֵינֵיהֶן:  בְּאָמְרָם, הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ אָמַר לְהָבִיא אֶת-וַשְׁתִּי הַמַּלְכָּה לְפָנָיו--וְלֹא-בָאָה.
17 For this deed of the queen will come abroad unto all women, to make their husbands contemptible in their eyes, when it will be said: The king Ahasuerus commanded Vashti the queen to be brought in before him, but she came not.
יח  וְהַיּוֹם הַזֶּה תֹּאמַרְנָה שָׂרוֹת פָּרַס-וּמָדַי, אֲשֶׁר שָׁמְעוּ אֶת-דְּבַר הַמַּלְכָּה, לְכֹל, שָׂרֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ; וּכְדַי, בִּזָּיוֹן וָקָצֶף.
18 And this day will the princesses of Persia and Media who have heard of the deed of the queen say the like unto all the king's princes. So will there arise enough contempt and wrath.
יט  אִם-עַל-הַמֶּלֶךְ טוֹב, יֵצֵא דְבַר-מַלְכוּת מִלְּפָנָיו, וְיִכָּתֵב בְּדָתֵי פָרַס-וּמָדַי, וְלֹא יַעֲבוֹר:  אֲשֶׁר לֹא-תָבוֹא וַשְׁתִּי, לִפְנֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרוֹשׁ, וּמַלְכוּתָהּ יִתֵּן הַמֶּלֶךְ, לִרְעוּתָהּ הַטּוֹבָה מִמֶּנָּה.
19 If it please the king, let there go forth a royal commandment from him, and let it be written among the laws of the Persians and the Medes, that it be not altered, that Vashti come no more before king Ahasuerus, and that the king give her royal estate unto another that is better than she.
כ  וְנִשְׁמַע פִּתְגָם הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר-יַעֲשֶׂה בְּכָל-מַלְכוּתוֹ, כִּי רַבָּה הִיא; וְכָל-הַנָּשִׁים, יִתְּנוּ יְקָר לְבַעְלֵיהֶן--לְמִגָּדוֹל, וְעַד-קָטָן.
20 And when the king's decree which he shall make shall be published throughout all his kingdom, great though it be, all the wives will give to their husbands honour, both to great and small.'
כא  וַיִּיטַב, הַדָּבָר, בְּעֵינֵי הַמֶּלֶךְ, וְהַשָּׂרִים; וַיַּעַשׂ הַמֶּלֶךְ, כִּדְבַר מְמוּכָן.
21 And the word pleased the king and the princes; and the king did according to the word of Memucan;
He follows their instructions to the letter and then realizes that he is queenless so has to find a replacement. That's how Esther came into the picture.

That same King Achashverosh also gave his full authority to Haman to facilitate the Holocaust murder of all the Jewish People, from babies to the elderly. When Achashverosh realized that would put his Queen Esther in danger he didn't even have the authority to cancel the edict, so he had to give the Jewish People via Mordechai the authority to fight Haman's soldiers.

A king/ruler/government should have principles and take the lead. Rulers who are constantly polling their subjects are no wiser than King Achashverosh.


Shy Guy said...

But you won't get a law that protects us from our politicians. Those very same politicians won't pass such a law.

However, the referendum bill is the lesser of 2 evils. I have zero faith in Israel's current leaders when it comes to our land.

I have slightly (1%-10%) more faith in the public doing the right thing or not having a large enough majority to do the wrong thing.

Think about it. When will this referendum law be put to use? When some miserably lost Israeli PM has already decided to retreat in disgrace.

And when, IY"H, we finally having a true Jew leading us here, the law will never be put to practical use anyway.

If you want to bring Achashverosh into the picture, the passing of this law prevents our own smart/dumb leaders from endangering us more than they could until now. You could look at it as a hidden miracle. The last thing I expected was for left-ho Israel to return some power to the people.

Purim Sameach from Jerusalem, where the saying of the day is "We have not yet begun to drink!"

Batya said...

Shy, it seems that politicians never pay for their mistakes. How many actually apologize?

Shy Guy said...

Batya, in Israel indeed pols get away with murder. And heaven forbid any public official in Israel should take responsibility and resign after being shown what a failure he or she is.

But what does that have to do with the main topic at hand?

Batya said...

We all know that the results of the polls depends on how the questions are worded, and referendums even worse.
It'll be clear that it's a done deal, because the question for a referendum wouldn't come up if the government hasn't already made promises. We'd be threatened with all sorts of horrid sanctions and cartoon nightmares if we dare to vote down the government's deal.

Shy Guy said...

Then you've got nothing to lose if it's a done deal, with a possibility to save the situation.