Jewish & Anti-Democratic (Tikvah Fund)


The neconservative Tikva Fund has a new Hebrew language platform in Israel where they published this bit by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked. Those of us in the field know that the Tikva Fund has long committed itself to “law,” “Jewish law,” and “authority.” This is what it boils down to in contemporary Israel: Jewish political fascism.

The gist of the article is this:

Good governance requires that people in positions of authority such as governmental ministers be empowered not just to implement policy ends but to be in position to determine those ends in the first place. Otherwise, the minister is not sovereign, but just a contractor. Minister Shaked wants the authority to establish new tracks, new governing and legal and economic guidelines according to a new set of principles without interference from parliamentary rules (e.g. votes of no confidence, legislative initiatives), economic regulations, parliamentary opposition, or appeals to the courts, especially to the Supreme Court. Against the secular and socialist tradition in Israeli society and culture, the principles upon which the Minister wants to reconstruct Israeli democracy are free markets, majoritarian rule, and “Judaism.”

This is the pit into which the Tikva Fund and its enablers here in the United State is marching. The claim that, in this vision, Judaism and democracy are compatible is undercut by Minister Shaked’s allusion to Jacob and Esau, whom the Bible depicts struggling to the death in their mother’s womb.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics.
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2 Responses to Jewish & Anti-Democratic (Tikvah Fund)

  1. Had the Shaked article actually contained the points you attribute to it, your post would be a serious indictment. Fortunately, it doesn’t, and one has to wonder whether it’s your Hebrew that’s lacking (for example, the reference to “vote of no-confidence” was a metaphor about the relative roles of the individuals and voluntary communities and the government — not to an actual parliamentary procedure) or simply an inability to register new information that doesn’t fit with your preconceptions.

    • zjb says:

      i’m pretty sure i read the Hebrew correctly, but you’re free to your interpretation. A large part of the article is given to complaints about parliamentary proceduralism.

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