"Yertle the Turtle" Theory

I picture Ariel Sharon as Yertle the Turtle, ruling only by the fact that other turtles are stacked one upon the other, allowing themselves to be used as a throne to elevate the King Turtle, who cares not about their welfare.

Aliza Karp

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"You hush up your mouth!" howled the mighty King Yertle.
"You've no right to talk to the world's highest turtle.
I rule from the clouds! Over land! Over sea!
There's nothing, no, NOTHING, that's higher than me!"

As a child, I loved Dr. Suess books. What a relief from Mother Goose and Babar. I knew Cat in the Hat so well, I can still recite it.

Yertle the Turtle was not one of my favorites, but it must have made an impression on me, because every time there are more negotiations between parties to form a coalition, I picture Ariel Sharon as Yertle the Turtle, ruling only by the fact that other turtles are stacked one upon the other, allowing themselves to be used as a throne to elevate the King Turtle, who cares not about their welfare.

Party A can quit the government and Parties B and C can join, but the reason Sharon has the luxury of jumping into 'a relationship' with whichever party can be wooed for the lowest price, is because he is sitting on his stack of 39 Likud turtles.

Why don't religious MK's and religious parties unite to bring the deadly disengagement plan to its death? Why are they ready and willing to allow themselves to keep Sharon in a position of power?

"My throne shall be higher!" his royal voice thundered,
"So pileup more turtles! I want 'bout two hundred."

Recently, a mover and shaker from Eretz Yisroel held a meeting in New York with a group of Lubavitcher Chassidim (not to be confused with the official spokesmen type). It was the first such meeting that I have attended, but I rather doubt it was the first of its kind. The gentleman had a plan for Lubavitch to be more directly involved in politics. It was a plan with lots of curves, twists and ragged edges and the great wisdom of getting involved without publicly using the Lubavitch name. When he saw he was not getting anywhere too quickly, he pulled out the carrot of carrots, the lure of all lures.

"And then you could get money for your yeshivas!" he said.

Now, our yeshivas need money, as do a million other Chabad projects. But even so, we answered the man succinctly, we could not get involved in such a scheme, because Chabad deals with emet, truth.

Yet, there are religious politicians who will risk the sacrifice of Gush Katif, which would allow for the establishment of a global terror center in its place, in return for money for yeshivas.

And meanwhile, the 39 Likud turtles are all in place. And MK Uzi Landau is again promoting a referendum in order to keep the Likud powerbase intact rather than face new elections.

Years ago, during an interview with Shmuel Katz, the Lubavitcher Rebbe was addressing the possibility of a referendum in regards to negotiations with Egypt. The Rebbe was adamant that the act of the referendum is detrimental to the security of Jews in Eretz Yisroel, because it will reinforce the convictions of the enemies regarding the Jews considering the option of giving up land.

That was years ago. By now, there has been so much talk of concessions and referendums that the enemies are saturated with encouragement and the positive reinforcement that terror is a highly profitable enterprise. Tragically, the correlation has been proven - the more talk of concessions, the more bloodshed; referendums included.

The Rebbe continued. If there would be a referendum, he said, the wording is of utmost importance. The question should not be, "Do you want to surrender land for peace?" The correct wording would be: "Do you agree that it is worthwhile to place in danger, the lives of bais v'bais, each and every household in Eretz Yisroel, to place each household under the peril of war, without oil and without safe borders, with the enemies near our population centers, in exchange for the signature of Anwar Sadat on a piece of paper, at a time when it is clear the Egyptians have already, several times, violated their signatures? It is clear that Sadat will not live a long time, that he will not rule Egypt forever. It is clear that he does not have any influence over the Arabs of Juea and Samaria, who announce openly their intentions to destroy and to kill the entire nation that lives in Zion. It is clear that even if a specific group will agree to make peace, different groups will not agree. The question is whether it is worthwhile to create this scenario of endangering our people, by handing over territories in exchange for a piece of paper that does not obligate anyone to do anything."

The Rebbe's wording would have to be altered only slightly to be relevant to a referendum today. The enemies are even closer to our population centers. The Egyptians have violated even more of their commitments and are just as dangerous, if not more, and there is a chance they would enter Gaza. Alternately, should Egypt not enter Gaza, we would not be dealing with an organized army that presumably takes orders from a central command, but with barbaric groups of terrorists. As far as the enemy is concerned, any sacrifice in Gush Katif is not relevant to the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, except that it will be a precedent and they will demand the same type of exchange, i.e., land for nothing (or should we say, land for increased terror?).

The main point being that a referendum is not recommended, but should one take place, at least the wording should communicate the actual facts involved in the choice.

But the referendum is still only one of the bargaining cards in the political barnyard today. Eventually, there will be true unrest amongst the stack of turtles, and if the "Yertle the Turtle" theory is correct, the ending will be...

"For Yertle, the King of all Sala-ma-Sond,
Fell off his high throne and fell Plunk! In the pond!
And today the great Yertle, the Marvelous he,
Is King of the Mud. That is all he can see.
And the turtles, of course... all the turtles are free
As turtles and maybe all creatures should be."