When I wrote my thoughts on the elections last week, I noted that to get into the coalition, Shas would need to "compromise and start pushing more of the Yeshiva students into the army and workforce." I honestly didn't think it would happen this fast, but Haaretz reported in their weekend edition that R' Ovadia Yosef wrote the following in his letter to Shimon Peres, "Not every Haredi is entitled to exemption from military service." Now their article doesn't really delve into it more than that introductory sentence, but I'm optimistic. With Yesh Atid and Ha'Bayit Ha'Yehudi (not to mention Yisrael Beitenu and Labor) both considering this an important duty of the government, Shas know the only way to make this change in a way that suits them is to be a part of it. Time will tell ...
Last week, a few Beitar fans unveiled a massive flag saying "Beitar will stay pure forever" - a sign aimed in protest of the signing of two Muslims from Chechnya the week before. Regardless of their stupidity (Beitar has had Arabs & Muslim players before, not to mention Christians on their current team), the media made sure to stress how all Beitar fans are racists. I was following the comments on various Israeli sports sites, and I found that a majority of Beitar fans who posted were sickened by what was happening. There was unfortunately quite a few comments by those who openly supported the claims that have sadly given Beitar such a bad reputation internally and abroad. While I'm fairly certain these fans belong to, or strongly associate with, 'La Familia' (the group who's become a dominant force in the East Stand, and openly state their hatred of Arabs & Muslims), I still don't understand the need to generalize all of Beitar's fans. When Arab terrorists kill innocents in Israel, people are branded 'racists' if they say 'All Arabs are terrorists.' Why the double standards?
Ophir Ben Sheetreet was suspended from her religious school for two weeks due to her singing performance on an Israeli TV show. I don't really know all the details of the story, but this girl seemingly goes to a religious school which takes a specific stance on the issue (I'd say machmir, but again - I don't know what the basis was for the suspension). The school could have obviously handled it differently, but without more information from both sides it's tough to really get to the bottom of the story (though it's been a learning experinece to read up on the halachic positions of both sides) ... so I'll sum it up for now like so: If you go to a school which promotes a certain observance level, one has to abide by that level.
Only 10 asylum seekers entered Israel in January: