(Jewish Law) The Tikvah Fund = The Conservative U.S. Group Trying to Transform Israel’s Justice System

 

This post is something by way of an epilogue. Back in the day, the Tikvah Fund and the people running its various organs and sister institutions in the United States (academic programs at Princeton and NYU, the Jewish Review of Books, Tablet) pretended that their sole interest was “Jewish ideas.” In fact, the agenda was always to introduce, under the radar, conservative ideas into the American university system and American Judaism via Jewish Studies. That caravan finally moved on to Israel, where the ultra nationalist agenda is now transparent. As reported here, the far-right agenda is to cripple the power of the Israeli judiciary in the interest of the Israel Is The Nation-State of the Jewish People idea and the Jewish settlement project in the occupied West Bank. With no interest in the principle of equal rights and equal citizenship enshrined in law, the program is based on a conservative American constitutional model of conservatism: “judicial restraint, separation of powers, individual liberty and limited government.” The judiciary is one of the last and most important pillars of Israeli democracy. Unlike in America, the Tikvah Fund in Israel is capable of real and lasting damage. Ideologically, what links Tikvah Fund in the United States with the Tikvah Fund in Israel is “law,” i.e. the Jewish law and politics idea and Jewish-state law as an actual and effective political force in society; because there is no constitution in Israel, and therefore no constitutional protections. I  never understood how the authority fetish in contemporary Jewish thought could be decoupled from authoritarianism. While I won’t speak here to the history of Jewish law as a loose social canon, coupled with the political, there is a definite connecting link between the contemporary Jewish law idea and fascism.  

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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4 Responses to (Jewish Law) The Tikvah Fund = The Conservative U.S. Group Trying to Transform Israel’s Justice System

  1. Alan Jay Weisbard says:

    Thanks for this, Zach.

  2. GeorgVon1 says:

    Frome where do you know this?

    • zjb says:

      the current info from the article and from following Tikvah for a while. I wrote something extensive arrticle in 2011 which i based on my own reading of the Jewish Review of Book, but more importantly, material i found online where Tikvah executives were explaining their funding mission and strategy

  3. dmf says:

    “there is a definite connecting link between the contemporary Jewish law idea and fascism”
    there is indeed, will be interesting to see if Sen Whitehouse’s efforts against this kind of fascist wannabe theocracy here in the US offers some aid to efforts abroad.

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