(Israel) Bellum Omnium Contra Omnes (Political Spectacle)

Israel's former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman stands at the plenum at the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in Jerusalem. May 30, 2019

Here’s one arm, there’s the other arm of a dominant political beast. It’s like a bomb suddenly went off, shredding the political body of the Jewish right in Israel, an explosion that gives the lie to the notion that there are “natural partners” in politics or on the Jewish Israeli right with which to form a ruling coalition. Religion has pushed itself and has been pushed into the direct center of this massive political blow-up, if that is indeed what we are looking at, a Bellum omnium contra omnes of the Jewish right in Israel as the extreme right against the extreme right against the ultra-orthodox begin to rip themselves up from the inside out. At play are forces of religion, ethnicity, and secularism stress-testing democratic norms and governance at what has quickly revealed to be this Hobbesian moment. I do not think there is any clear way to predict what happens next in this throw of the dice. Maybe it’s the case that politics is constituted out of “unnatural alliances.” Regarding the actual politics and “sickening hypocrisy,” see this more informed piece by Anshel Pfefer here at Ha’aretz as to the particular actors. As the combatants enter into the ring against each other, who knows who will make what of this political spectacle.

hobbes

 

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. http://religion.syr.edu
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