Beyond the Cusp

June 21, 2019

Meeting Rafi Peretz

Filed under: Israel — qwertster @ 1:54 AM
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My regular readers know that we really like Rafi Peretz, the current leader of Jewish Home and likely to lead the United Right depending on future negotiations between the various parties with similar interests. We obviously support Rafi Peretz for even to hope that once the people of Israel meet this remarkable man, he will increase the importance of the Zionist movement for both religious and secular as we believe he would not reject anybody who honestly loves Israel as he does. I have also reported that I am a member of the Jewish Home Central Committee. We feel assured that it is not giving away any secrets as the news likely reported on our decision to support the same election agreements both for the party and the coalition should it be reestablished which is likely. The rumors about the move to place Ayelet Shaked at the top of a combined list should the New Right also join the United Right with one place claiming improbably that she was intending to join as an independent candidate leaving the New Right partner Naftali Bennett behind. Where we might see opportunity should Shaked and Bennett split up their long-term apparent agreement, this would also pose some interesting future decisions.


I would like to give my impressions of Rafi Peretz whom I was fortunate to meet running into him, almost literally, on my way into the Central Committee meeting and once more before leaving the event. I was given the good fortune of spending some time in conversations with him. I also met Ben Dahan who was hurrying, so was not able to get a good read of the man and as the interaction was so abbreviated that I feel that any commentary about him would be unfair to our readers and to him. To give a review of the meeting, to put it simply, it was as bland as expected. There were the regular speeches by a few of the officers, a reading of the new business, the vote, Rafi Peretz gave the closing address and then everyone descended from the seats to meet Rafi Peretz. I went to the stage and this was where I met Ben Dahan where I thanked him and told him it was his articles amongst other items which persuaded us to become members of the Jewish Home Party; but that is a tale for, well, never, it would be boring. We can add that the trip down and back was a pair of adventures as initially the trains were not running from Nahariya; so it was necessary to take a bus to get to the train one station south. Coming home I managed to be dropped off at a different station than the one I used on arriving, which claimed that my train would be on track 1 which was closed and there were almost no workers at this station that I could ask. I got home and this is how the story ends. So, first an obligatory picture of myself with Rafi Peretz on our way right before exiting the building.


Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz and I

Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz and I


Rafi Peretz is a man with a very interesting past. When he took over the Jewish Home Party after Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked decided to leave Jewish Home, we did some research on him reading many of the articles. General (ret), Rabbi Rafi Peretz entered the IDF and flew combat helicopters initially and by the time he retired as a Brigadier General he was serving as the Chief Rabbi of the IDF. If such a life of a man going from attack helicopters on to become the Chief Rabbi is not the basis for a novel which then would become a movie, then perhaps what he has done since leaving the IDF would allow this to qualify. Rabbi Peretz formed a Yeshiva in the Gaza region when, in August 2005, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon executed the Gaza withdrawal removing all Israeli presence down to reinterring the dead and erasing all record of their presence being left behind other than usable buildings and the million-dollar greenhouses. Rabbi Rafi Peretz was undeterred and restarted his Yeshiva in the Shomron. Rabbi Peretz is a man who obviously is not easily deterred and a person who intends to complete anything he agrees to undertake. He has stated that he intends to remain at the top position in the United Right coalition though he will gladly accept others who wish to enter in a reasonable manner. These are personal ideas of BTC and not official Jewish Home positions, a necessary disclaimer.


My meetings with Rabbi Rafi Peretz were unbelievably pleasant and he was a very personable person. He does not come across as most political people we have met, and since we ran a campaign for the United States Congress for the Eighth District in Maryland, we met two up close and personal as we debated a number of times and appeared at numerous of the same locations. Further, growing up in Washington D.C. area, I also have met any number of politicians sometimes as customers of a store I managed or in public casually as well at events. Of all the politicians I have had opportunities to meet, very few felt as real, honest and personally involved and interested in those around them. Chairman Peretz is warm and willing to do all the things which make people feel comfortable and is willing to talk and exchange with others as equals. I am not going to reveal our discussions or any of the points but he was patient and willing to go the extra yard. He willingly waited to meet everyone who waited to talk with him without hurrying away despite the meeting going fairly late. You understand, some of the speakers took full use of the microphone. The fact is that he had no entourage which many politicians use as a means of avoiding having to be approached by too many people on their way out the door. I understand that as a Central Committee member, I do get a special situational advantage for bending the Chairman of the Party’s ear. Still, my impression is that Chairman, Rabbi Peretz would spend the time to listen and give the proper time and respect to the people who wished to approach him with questions or simply to get a measure of the man. My belief is that we need to get him out and before as many Israelis we can emphasizing towards our base. This includes any Zionist, religious Zionists or Secular Zionists and those between. Rafi Peretz could become a future leader of the State of Israel and she would be in caring and strong hands. Any man who has performed with excellence as a combat helicopter pilot, then becoming the IDF Chief Rabbi, founding a Yeshiva and having it pulled from under him by the Gaza withdrawal forcing him to make a difficult decision in which he took his students out of Gaza orderly and without attacking the IDF troops, reforming his Yeshiva and finally answering the call to restore order to the Jewish Home Party in our hour of need; can return respectability and decorum to the leadership of the party. If Prime Minister were a directly elected position where the different party leaders competed in a two round election where the top three from the initial where all the party coalitions were included and, if none received over fifty percent then a final competition between the top two, he would have a very presentable chance of winning. But Israel has the system they desired, or at least what was decided back at the beginning of the nation. Israel could be placed in worse hands than those of Chairman Rabbi Rafi Peretz, retired Brigadier General, Yeshiva Rabbi, IDF Chief Rabbi and beginning as a combat helicopter pilot. I would also like to thank him for his kindness in our interactions.


Beyond the Cusp


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