Op-ed in haredi daily compares Lapid to Hitler

Haredim continue to react angrily to Lapid's anti-Haredi party remarks made in his maiden speech to the Knesset.

Lapid addressing the knesset 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Lapid addressing the knesset 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
An op-ed article published on Sunday in one of the largest selling haredi daily newspapers, Yated Ne’eman, has caused political consternation by comparing a speech made by Adolf Hitler to an article written by Finance Minister Yair Lapid.
Haim Valder, a haredi author and educator, started his article by questioning the root source of “hatred towards haredim” which he claimed is rampant in the country at present.
He noted “the non-Jews always found an excuse for hating Jews... The Protocols of the Elders of Zion presented the Jews as the ones pulling the strings and controlling the world.”
He then compared this accusation with a comment made by Lapid to haredi MK Moshe Gafni, when he said in the Knesset last month, “the State of Israel has stopped taking instructions from you.”
Valder wrote, the general idea is that those oppressing Jews claim not to hate them, but state that they have no choice but to act against them in case the Jews take control.
Valder then quoted several passages from a speech made by Adolf Hitler to the Reichstag in 1939.
Germany had to remove the idea that Jews had a right to “to be parasites that gain nourishment from the bodies of productive citizens,” the Nazi leader said and promised the annihilation of Jewry if “Jewish financiers” started a world war.
“Hitler was already preparing the ground for the destruction of the Jewish race by spreading hateful propaganda which portrayed Jews as parasites,” Valder wrote.
He then referenced Deputy Finance Minister Mickey Levy when he referred to the ultra-Orthodox as parasites in an interview with haredi radio station Kol Barama last month, although he immediately apologized.
“Although it’s clear that the intentions of the haters of religion is not to physically destroy the haredim (although the wild incitement is likely, God forbid, to cause awful tragedies), they have an explicitly malicious intent towards everything relating to our quality of life,” Valder wrote.
He continued that current legislative proposals to revoke certain state benefits from anyone not working or actively looking for employment is a harm to the community.
“[It hurts] our ability to live normal lives... to deny us our basic rights such as stipends, municipal tax discounts, income support, food for children, child daycare, education, and even the ability to leave the country.”
Valder then cited an article written by Lapid two years ago.
“Forget ideology, forget that I don’t understand how it doesn’t bother you that you live on my dime, but I no longer have the money to pay for all this, it’s over, it’s finished, there is no more, not only not for your children but for my own children I don’t have enough,” Lapid wrote at the time.
“We have to find a way, my friend, or it will end badly.”
He concluded with a Talmudic phrase literally translated as “either a study partner or death,” but it is usually understood to stress the importance of society to the individual.
“Now you tell me how different is that from the other concluding sentence?” Valder asked alluding to Hitler’s threat to destroy world Jewry.
Lapid’s office decried the article as “outrageous incitement” for political purposes.
“The comparison between Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, to the greatest enemy of the Jewish people in history is outrageous incitement which makes ugly political use out of a painful wound,” his office said. “We are saddened that instead of dealing with the relevant issues of state of the economy and Israeli society and the need to increase partnership in the work force, there are those who choose to escape to a dialogue of unnecessary and dangerous incitement.”
Yesh Atid MK and haredi rabbi Dov Lipman said that it showed how extreme the haredi leadership has become.
“Minister Lapid is proposing [that] 1,800 elite Torah scholars will be recognized as serving the state through their Torah study... and compensated for it, the rest can study Torah uninterrupted until age 21 and then serve in military or national service geared specifically to haredim and their lifestyle and for money to flow to programs which help haredim enter the workforce. And he is compared to Hitler?” Lipman asked.
“I call on all moderate haredim to join the many who have ‘seen the light’ and reject this extremism. Let’s work together to strengthen the haredi community by laying the groundwork for young men to be Torah scholars, fervently Orthodox, and sustain their families with dignity.”