One of the shining slogans of early Zionism was the notion that Israel should be a “light unto the nations.” Well, Israel’s Justice Minister has turned that slogan on its head and advocates that Israel become a laughingstock unto the nations:
Justice Minister Ya’akov Ne’eman on Monday said he believes Halakha (Jewish law) should be the binding law in Israel, Army Radio reported.
“Step by step, we will bestow upon the citizens of Israel the laws of the Torah and we will turn Halakha into the binding law of the nation,” said Ne’eman at a Jewish law convention at the Regency hotel in Jerusalem, in the presence of many rabbis and rabbinical judges.
“We must bring back the heritage of our fathers to the nation of Israel,” Ne’eman said. “The Torah has the complete solution to all of the questions we are dealing with,” he added.
Can anyone doubt that Bibi Netanyahu’s governing coalition (or at least many of his ministers) is a total farce? This man supposedly directs Israel’s justice system? Let’s leave aside that this is clearly base political pandering to the coalition’s right-wing religious base. But isn’t this an indication of the direction Bibi’s government would take Israel in if it could? What further damage to Israeli democracy can it inflict than it has already?
Let’s call a spade a spade here. Instead of a western democracy, we have a call to turn Israel into a theocracy. It isn’t bad enough that Israel is currently a truncated democracy, or ethnocracy. While we’re at it, why don’t we rule Israel according to the medieval laws of the Shulchan Aruch? Tell women they are unclean during their menstrual cycle and must abandon public life. Tell them they must walk behind their husbands and male relatives on the public street. And lets revive the ancient Temple rites as well and appoint a High Priest and conduct animal sacrifices. If we’re going back to the Dark Ages why don’t we go all the way?
Cartoon h/t Sol Salbe.