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Is Democracy Done in Israel and is it About to Become a Theocracy?

06 Aug

In the opinion of MJ Rosenberg, New laws aim to make democracy subservient to the orthodox religious beliefs of a minority of citizens. He so truthfully observes

Netanyahu has no interest in negotiations. What he wants is to prevent the Palestinians from taking their aspirations for statehood to the United Nations this autumn. He thinks they are so brainless that they will accept an empty offer from him rather than try something new, something which – whether it succeeds or not – will fundamentally change the political terrain in a way Netanyahu most certainly will not welcome.

More evidence of the utter phoniness of Netanyahu’s new stance comes with the news that the Knesset is now considering a bill – supported by 40 legislators from Kadima, Likud, and Yisrael Beiteinu – that would, according to Haaretz: “make democratic rule subservient to the state’s definition as ‘the national home for the Jewish people’.”

The lead sponsor of the bill says that it is intended to give the courts legislation that supports “the state as the Jewish nation state in ruling in situations in which the Jewish character of the state clashes with its democratic character.”

The bill is likely to pass – 20 of the 28 members of the “moderate” Kadima party have joined Likud in pushing it – which would mean that Israel will be making that long-predicted choice between being democratic or Jewish – a choice that would be unnecessary if Israel gave up the 1967 territories.

Members of the Knesset, it seems, are prepared to lay aside democracy, giving Israel the freedom to hold on to all the territories while continuing to not give democratic rights to the millions of disenfranchised Palestinians who live there.

The legislation, should it pass, would represent the most significant change in Israel’s history. Israel would be embracing the idea of theocracy over democracy. Until now, Israel has always insisted that it is no different than the United States or any modern country – where church and state are separated.

Everyone who loves freedom for all should be VERY concerned about this turn in Israel.  It is appallingly ignored, though, in media here in the States.  And yet Israel may soon become the same sort of theocratic nation as we have in Saudi Arabia and other repressive Mid-Eastern states.

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 6 Aug 2011 in Modern Culture

 

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3 responses to “Is Democracy Done in Israel and is it About to Become a Theocracy?

  1. arenmaeir

    7 Aug 2011 at 8:55 am

    Jim,
    It would appear that tou are following the news about Israel in a very tunnel-vision manner. Are you not aware of the astounding demonstrations that are going on in Israel – and astonishing show of true democracy?
    No violence – just the genuine feelings of hundreds of thousands of regular Israelis, who feel that the division of wealth in the last few decades in unfair.
    Last night I participated in a demonstration in Jerusalem with 30,000 participants, and at the same time, in Tel Aviv, there were 300,000!
    I would hardly think that this learned piece which you quote on the supposed threat of a theocracy in Israel had any basis behind it – save for rehashing ingrained viewpoints that are not interested in incorporating facts and processes that don’t fit in with these preconceived notions..
    Aren

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  2. arenmaeir

    7 Aug 2011 at 9:07 am

    But that is exactly it. If his response will remain so lame – he’ll be booted out in the next election. We are fortunate to be witnessing one of the most interesting processes to have occured in Israel in the last few decades. I am quite convinced that it will have a wide range of effects on many issues in Israeli society – in politics, government, socio-economic issues, relations with the Palestinians, etc.
    One can hardly claim that Israeli democracy is disappearing! It is as vibrant, kicking and alive as ever. This should be the case with our neighbors…

    Aren

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