Rightwing Religious Threats to Democracy in Israel (Leena Dallasheh and Dana Golan)


For anyone interested, I am posting an overview of the ultra rightwing-religious government that Benjamin Netanyahu is now in the process of cobbling together. Shaul Magid sent me a 15 page document by Drs. Leena Dallasheh and Dana Golan at Ofek: The Israeli Center for Public Affairs. I am embedding the a pdf of the document below. I think the document could have been more strongly worded. What I would have highlighted is the direct threat to Israeli democracy and to liberal and human values posed by a theocratic regime based on Jewish ethnic supremacism and righting orthodox Judaism. The document includes direct statements illustrating radicalized voices of extreme hatred and violence that shape this new direction.

Even mainstream liberal Jews in America will have to boycott this government and its representatives.

I am paraphrasing the three basic components identified by the authors to which I am adding a fourth and a fifth more focused on religion:

–Direct assault on the separation of powers, namely the independence of the judiciary in Israel, including the independence of the Supreme Court, and the independence of the national police from ministerial control. The legal protections enjoyed by the citizens of Israel enjoined by the Supreme Court will all be subject to the override of a simple majority in the Knesset. This includes rights and protections enjoyed by women, members of the LGBTQ community, Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel, civil society activists, as well as protections meant to secure freedom from religious coercion.

–Anti-Palestinian incitement, including incitement against citizens of Israel. Threats to deport Arab-Palestinian citizens accused of “disloyalty” to the Jewish State should be taken seriously. Plans include loosening of open-fire restrictions on Arab-Palestinian protesters and people suspected of criminality.

–Entrenching the Occupation, annexing settlements, and cementing the Apartheid regime in the West Bank. Plans include expanding [illegal] settlements and authorizing settlements that are considered illegal even under Israeli law. Enormous sums of money will be transferred to [illegal] settlements. Governing authority of West Bank territories will be transferred from the military and Defense Ministry to ministries under the civil control of the Religious Zionism and Jewish Power parties. Plans include the transfer of control of the Border Police to the civil ministry of “National Security.” Encouraging and turning a blind eye to violence by religious settlers against West Bank Palestinians and leftwing Israeli activists, and loosening open-fire protocols.

–The domination of Israeli society and the economy by the ultra-orthodox and religious ultra-nationalists includes plans to keep yeshiva students out of the army, keep Haredi school systems free from secular curricula, double stipends for yeshivot and advanced yeshiva students, more incitement against and restricting limits on the expression of Judaism on the part of Reform and Conservative Jews, introducing more rightwing religious content into the secular school system.

–Profound and dangerous changes to the status quo re: Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount that threaten to engulf the entire region in an unholy religious war.

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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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