It was more than your regular stormy day in Knesset on Wednesday, January 25, 2012 when MKs of the Yahadut HaTorah faction walked out in protest during the address of opposition leader MK Tzipi Livni. Livni did not mince words, attacking the Tal Law, calling on the government to get rid of it and draft chareidim into the IDF.
The special plenum session was compelled by the fact the opposition enlisted the required 40 signatures, compelling the speaker to convene.
Eichler however is known as one of the parliamentarians who isn’t ot afraid to speak his mind, and speak his mind he did. He accused Livni of hounding the chareidi tzibur, disrupting her address enough that he was asked to leave the plenum session. Party members decided to join in and they too got up and walked out. Eichler shouted at Livni as he headed out “you’re our enemy”, but the chareidim were not the only one in Livni’s sights.
Livni directed her wrath at Housing Minister (Shas) Atias and his new plan for affordable housing. Livni stated it is clear that these apartments are for the chareidi sector and the others, those who get out and go to work daily, those who stood out in the streets and protested — they receive nothing.
The opposition leader also lashed out at the prime minister and his Likud party, accusing them of trying to destroy the Kadima party. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded, telling Livni that he does not have to destroy anything since she and her colleagues are doing it all on their own.
Yahadut HaTorah MKs told the media that Livni simply has nothing to sell, and as a result she is trying to launch her election campaign on the backs of the chareidi tzibur.
Rav Chaim Miller, a former Jerusalem deputy mayor and noted askan in the capital spoke with Kol Chai Radio on Wednesday night, acknowledging ferocity of Livni’s attack against an entire tzibur. Miller feels however that the chareidi tzibur is to blame in part, for the tzibur has failed the PR test, failing to persuade the general population regarding the realities of their day-to-day lives. He mentioned the fact that bus lines servicing chareidi neighborhoods are sorely overcrowded on a regular basis, yet the riders accept it without complaining, without realizing the need and the possible benefit of public relations, to spend money on depicting the chareidi community in a different light.
Miller is calling on all the chareidi parties to unite for the purpose of sending a unified message and to take the combined party funding to accomplish this, to launch an unprecedented media campaign towards moving ahead for the common good.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)