This is a recurring phenomenon before election campaigns. Parties in the center-left bloc highlight that they have representatives with national-religious backgrounds and try to attract "moderate" voters with nuanced and regal messages.
Prominent figures like Moshe Tur-Paz, Elazar Stern, and Hili Tropper are brought to the forefront. They even mention Michael Biton or Pnina Tamano-Shata as authentic representatives of true and moderate religious Zionism.
But on the other hand, there are moments when the truth comes out, the masks fall, and the real attitude towards the religious-national world is revealed in all its strength. It shows how one should not rely on those leaders.
Much has already been said about the anti-Semitic incident that occurred during Yom Kippur in the midst of Tel Aviv. An outburst of hatred and evil by people who have no connection to democratic and liberals values, but only harbor hatred towards anything traditional and religious.
The real issue here is that the small extremist group that likely doesn't even represent the majority of Tel Aviv's residents, has brought the secular general public into the picture. The true problem began with the events that unfolded during the holiday – the shocking incidents that started to become public, along with the reactions from politicians.
What was initially an extreme event of violence by a minority group received a "moral" stamp from opposition leaders who stood by those troublemakers and made it clear to the religious and traditional public that they have no place in the public sphere in Israel.
From Merav Michaeli and Yair Lapid, of course, there were no expectations. After all, they breathe and preach anti-religious messages, justifying their political careers in recent years with them.
But there are two others - Yair Lapid and Benny Gantz - who chose to stand with the extremists from the far-left camp and point fingers of blame at the coalition and Prime Minister Netanyahu himself.
Before we continue, it's important to emphasize a few facts - the prayer event organized by the "Rosh Yehudi" organization is a private initiative that has been taking place for several years. Yes, even in the years when Lapid and Gantz were the heads of the government (both officially and as alternates).
There is no connection to the government, judicial reform, or an attempt to change the status quo in the Western Wall area.
In their responses to the anti-Semitic incident during Yom Kippur, Gantz and Lapid decided to align themselves with the most dangerous voices on the Israeli left, likely to gain favor with Twitter influencers and leaders of the 'Kaplan force'.
Once again, these two have proven that they are driven and lack a moral compass when it comes to standing up to their base and saying, "This far, no further," acknowledging that there is such a thing as the freedom of religion for Jews.
The truth has come out
Despite attempts to disguise it over the years, Yair Lapid has not changed since that article in 2005 when he made it clear that the entire purpose of disengagement was to teach the settlers and the religious-nationalist public a lesson and prove who's boss (the liberal left, of course).
Back then, Lapid wanted to drive them out of the Green Line areas, and now he wants to drive us out of the major cities as well. Apparently, from Lapid's perspective, religious people are good for votes, but not so great as his neighbors.
The real disappointment, of course, is Benny Gantz, who in one moment burned down the false image he has tried to wrap himself in.
Gantz has proven that he is not statesmanlike, not "center," and cannot lead with a reasonable voice, as he refused to condemn the terrible attack against worshipers in Tel Aviv.
All the Troppers, Kahanas, or Sterns, cannot cover up the disgrace that was revealed when the fast was broken - the center and left-wing parties do not really want to provide a place for the religious public, unless they are submissive to them as they please.
Woe to the people of Israel that its leaders in 2023, politicians who are supposed to be the reconcilers and comforters of their public, prefer political considerations over standing alongside the truth.
The violence that erupted may subside, but it may not be long before religious individuals are physically harmed in Tel Aviv, and synagogues are set on fire in the name of a "holy war" declared against the religious. Then, Lapid and Gantz will no longer be able to wash their hands and claim they have no responsibility.
The only advantage is that the truth has come to light.
The religious voter should remember the events of Yom Kippur 2023 and the abandonment by Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid in the next elections.
Lapid and Gantz chose to turn their backs on the religious and traditional public. It's time for this public to also disconnect from them politically in the next round.