There's No Daas Torah In Italy
Before the latest Gaza war, Israel suffered a tragedy which killed nearly seven times as many Jews: the Meron disaster. It was the worst civilian tragedy in history of the State (and perhaps the largest number of Jews killed by Jews in a non-military setting in our entire history). As is widely known, it was a tragedy that was waiting to happen, since the site was not at all set up to safely house such a large number of people.
Naturally, a disaster at this scale indicates gross negligence at numerous potential levels - site managers, police, civil servants, politicians, and so on, and perhaps involving greed and corruption. And so the natural course of action is to arrest a lot of people and then have a state commission of inquiry which will be independent of any political pressures. When the terrible cable car tragedy occurred in Italy this week, several people were immediately arrested.
But not in Israel!
Not a single person has been arrested so far. And while there will be a state commission of inquiry, it's only just barely going ahead. Because, astonishingly, the vote at the Knesset Arrangements Committee to establish such a commission only barely passed, at 19 in favor and 13 against!
Who on earth would be against such a thing? Well, it will come as no surprise to discover that it was charedi MKs, along with their supporters in Likud and the ultra-right wing Religious Zionist party. As noted in a previous post, there was a shocking report about a meeting of United Torah Judaism MKs, in which most of them actively opposed a state commission of inquiry. Some of them claimed that they feared "reformers" would get involved and harm the sanctity of Meron (the exact trivial fears which allegedly motivated them to fight the government takeover to begin with). Others were astonishingly honest in their reasons for opposing such an inquiry. Uri Maklev explained that "there are people we know who will be harmed by it, people in the Ministry for Religious Services, people responsible for the event at Meron."
What's interesting is the charedi MKs, who are presented as emissaries of the Daas Torah of the Gedolim, are out of step with the charedi street. Surveys show that the majority of charedim want a state commission of inquiry. On charedi websites, while some are opposing a state commission, there is no shortage of people blasting the MKs transparent efforts to avoid responsibility (see the comments on the article at this link). And most of the bereaved families appealed for a state commission of inquiry - though, appallingly, they were pressured by associates of charedi MKs to retract this appeal.
One wit had a sharp comment: The charedi MKs have declared a state commission to be a chillul Hashem, because it will decrease the number of people who are yet to die al kiddush Hashem. He was referring to how a commission, which will expose corrupt charedi management of such things, will make it less likely for such tragedies to occur in the future. But I would add that it will also decrease the number of people who already died al kiddush Hashem - because it will expose that they died not due to the inscrutable Hand of God in a mysterious martyrdom, but rather due to the incompetence, corruption and greed of various powerful players in the charedi community, all under the banner of Daas Torah.
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