Saturday, January 19, 2013

Why Yair Lapid Disgusts Me

The USA has a long history of compromising with discrimination. They compromised on issues of slavery - The Missouri Compromise of 1820 - when the North and South agreed that states below the Missouri line would remain slave states and those above would be free. The compromise of 1850 - doing away with the line and replacing it with popular sovereignty - allowing new territories to vote on slavery when becoming a state. Even the great emancipator - Abraham Lincoln - did not run on an abolitionist - anti-slavery - message. He wanted to prevent the spread of slavery to any new territory but he ran on the campaign that he would not touch slavery in the south - a compromise which the South rejected in favor of secession.

Immigrants - Women - Homosexuals - America is littered with the corpses of compromise. Finally Finally, The US is approaching the time when discrimination and racism may be stricken from it's laws.

And in Israel the parties that claim the center -left, like Yair Lapid, want to continue the tradition of compromise.

Compromising on discrimination is not a compromise.

He claims that his plan is a reasonable compromise: that in 5 years the Israeli ultra -orthodox and Israeli Arabs will begin reporting to the IDF at which point the IDF will decide if the conscripts must serve in the army or  do some form of public service.

Hey Lapid - if public service is the same thing then have the Harediim and Arabs do the army and let the seculars do public service!

For reasons to numerous to get into, everyone winks and smirks at the idea of public service; joke of a program.

Lapid wants this compromised form of equality of service, but what about life equality? Civil Marriage? Gay civil marriage? Civil divorce? Public Transportation on Shabbat? You can't be a little bit pregnant and you can't accept just a little discrimination.

I admire the Ultra-orthodox parties, they have their issues and they fight for them with focus and determination. Lapid is fighting to be the next Stephen Douglas: the man whose great compromises won him the senate debates against Lincoln, but lost him the presidency.


Michael Sedley said...

Not sure why you think of national service as less of a contribution to country than the army. There are very important National Service positions such as working with the police or prison authority and less significant responsibilities in the army such as running Galei Tzhahal or teaching kids about road safety.

Serving the country teaches an important message to all citizens, but it is not necessary for all citizens to be wearing the same olive green uniform to perform that service.

Also, given that the army doesn't want soldiers who may have a conflict of loyalty (Arabs and Haredim), the alternatives are to wither compromise the quality of the army, let them off any type of national service, or find national service outside the army.

The Way said...

I think of National service as less than army service because it is less than. If it were equal, let the seculars do national service for the next 50 years while the haredi and Arab Israelis do the army to make up for the last 50 years of secular army service.
It is less than because there is not the physical or mental rigors of the army. It is less than because the volunteers have lots more free time, pay, holidays, food, sleep at home, and lack of risk of war.

And ultimately it is less than because it is not the same as army service. You can't call an apple and a raisin equivalent just because you want people to eat fruit.

As for loyalty - perhaps treating swaths of the citizenry as second class citizens has more to do with loyalty than figuring out new ways to treat them as second class citizens. Loyalty is the same argu,ment people used against blacks in the US army and Muslims after Sept 11.
Some people even wanted Keith Ellison, the Muslim rep in the US congress, to swear a loyalty oath. That wasn't an issue when the congress was just white guys.