Orot Banot – Winners & Losers

צילום: לורנס רייסלר


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(This photo courtesy of Yissachar Ruas)


The recent chaos surrounding the opening of the new school building for Orot Banot, in Beit Shemesh, seems to have reached a resolution, and the girls, staff and parents started the new school year this morning in their spanking-new school building – on the red-letter-day of 1st September.

There has been a lot written about the dispute – how it started, the various claims of the parties involved, the protest activities etc – in the local, national and even international press (a friend who returned from a trip to the USA said people he met in the USA were asking him about "what's the story with Orot Banot?!").

For those unfamiliar with the dispute, I refer you to Haaretz, YNet,  Arutz 7, Jerusalem Post, the protestors' Facebook Page, and the RBS blog Life In Israel.

At the milestone 1st September point, the traditional start of the Israeli academic year, I declare the Victors are:

The Young Girls - who can now study at Orot Banot, in appropriate & respectable facilities.
The Vaad Horim (PCA) of Orot Banot – who stepped up, mobilized the community and brought national resources to fight their side.
Shaalei Torah – the parent organization of Orot Banot, under Rav Nissimi – who now have two beautiful new school buildings, which they worked hard to build.
The National Religious community – with particular kudos to the residents of Givat Sharett.
Beyachad - Shalom Lerner & Jacki Edri were highly active throughout the campaign and strongly supported the protests
The Israeli Government – including the Ministry of Internal Security/Police and the Ministry of Education – who came to battle for justice and the Law in Bet Shemesh.
Life In Israel blog and Facebook – which provided the Winners with a platform.

The Losers are:

The Kanoim/Extremists  - who tried to use mafia tactics to frighten law-abiding residents
Mayor of Bet Shemesh – Moshe Abutbol – who was outflanked, exposed lying, and eventually by-passed
City Spokeman - Matti Rosensweig – who trumpeted falsities & nonsense, and was rapidly exposed
The Chareidi Parties (Gimel and Shas) – which failed to use their influence, and instead succumbed to their loony right.

Those Who Lost By Absence

The 'moderate' Chareidim - the overwhelming majority have very little in common with the Kanoim who caused the rumpus – but failed to disassociate themselves
Tov – the local moderate Chareidi party, which failed to take a stand for Reasonableness & Moderation – which is usually their rallying cry.

Of course, this story may not be over yet...

But in the meantime, the "Orot Banot" Winners should take a few moments to enjoy the sweet taste of Victory!


Comments

  1. where does Mafdal/B'Yachad go in this list? I am not aware of any influence they pulled for this. They didnt speak loudly and get themselves heard in the face of the mayor.
    Were they involved?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Over at "Life in Israel", Rafi G (not me, I'm S) suggested the possibility that maybe the kanaim were not really that bothered by the school and that Moshe Abutbul was forwarding some other agenda using the kanaim as cover. Half of his story that the Police warned him against opening the school has already been exposed as a lie (assuming you can believe a policeman), so maybe the whole basis of the story is as well?

    ReplyDelete
  3. Rafi G asked: "where does Mafdal/B'Yachad go in this list?"

    I saw Shalom Lerner of B'Yachad each time I visited Orot over the past few days.

    I understand that MK Zevulun Orlev was at the school for opening day today.(Can anyone verify this?)

    Shalom was also very active for the cause on the PR front.

    Aside from this, I'm not sure how much Shalom pulled his and his party's influence at the Iriya or National level during the dispute - can anyone supply this info??

    In short, to what extent was BeYachad a Winner or Loser?!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I can say the folowing:
    1. Zevulun Orlev was at the school this morning greeting the girls and spoke to them and the parent body that was present at the start of the day.
    2. Sholom Lerner as well as Jackie Edri were at each and every demonstration and were supportive all along the way.

    Did this fight help them - i.e. make them winners - I don't know. But they certainly were both there and supportive every step of the way so I can't imagine that they have come out "losers" in any way or that anyone could possibly question their support of the Orot Banot school.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I think the mayor belongs in the "winners" list. He is now incredibly popular among the charedim and proved to them he is on their side. He may have alienated the dati-luemi community but they did not vote for him before and wouldn't have voted for him in the future anyway. And now he knows he can lie cheat and steal and still remain in power. As long as he remains the mayor, he can count this as a victory.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I added Beyachad to the Winners list!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I think that we all lost. The fact that this is the sorry state of our nation makes us the losers.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Anonymous No. 1 (Abutbul is one of the winners) is unfortunately right.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Rafi S & Anonymous: "Abutbol is one of the winners"

    Sorry - I find it most unlikely that Abutbol would set out to:

    1. deliberately to lose a high profile dispute with an important constituency of Bet Shemesh,
    2. be associated with the Kannoim (who probably don't vote anyway),
    and
    3. wanted to be exposed lying to the public ("police told me..."; "There was an agreement only boys..." etc), including by Government Ministries/Police in full view of the national press.

    There is such a thing as a popular Loser (such as the Palestinians; or, lehavdil, Arieh Deri) - but, as a generality, popular Winners are far more in electoral demand.

    I'm keeping Moshe Abutbul in the "Orot Banot" Losers List.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Mayor for All of Some of the People2 September 2011 at 12:04

    We can all be winners....let's ban together and continue to press for equal rights for ALL citizens of Bet Shemesh as Abutbol promised in the election.

    By strengthening the "non" Charedi institutions, schools, tzedaka organizations, etc. we will insure that ALL residents of our community will have representation.

    The Charedim strongly support their own. We should learn from them!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Rabanim should denounce the insanity. If they remain quiet they remain part of the problem. Little girls with nosexual histories whatsoever are now being called whores. Quite the lesson to be learned, eh? Violence and sex for the Bullies in Black. That's what fills their twisted minds.

    Yocheved Golani

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Tov – the local moderate Chareidi party, which failed to take a stand for Reasonableness & Moderation"...
    http://www.kikarhashabat.co.il/%D7%90%D7%9C%D7%99-%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%99%D7%93%D7%9E%D7%9F-%D7%9C%D7%97%D7%A8%D7%93%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%AA%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%93%D7%95-%D7%9C%D7%A7%D7%99%D7%99%D7%9D.html
    You may have done something there David...

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks Anonymous.

    This statement by Eli Friedman is very positive - kol hakavod to Tov!

    Any idea why this statement from Eli came out after the dispute (ie now) rather than during it?

    ReplyDelete

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