(Religious Dictatorship) Tikvah Funds Anti-Democratic Coup (Israel)

I’m including below a notification sent to my email from the Tikvah Fund and this link here to an op-ed written by Elliot Abrams and Eric Cohen in the Jerusalem Post in support of the judicial coup in Israel. Long time followers of the Tikvah Fund will recognize the sleight of hand meant to cover up a radical anti-liberal and conservative-religious worldview. [1] There are mealy words of compromise and unity in the op-ed, which reads more like sponsored content promoting the good offices of Tikvah than an actual op-ed. [2] They exaggerate the activism of the Supreme Court in Israel and underestimate the forces tearing up the country. [3] They want you to think that what is at stake is a good faith “debate” within the parameters of a democratic framework, as opposed to the tearing up of that lowercase liberal framework in order to set one up on a conservative foundation.

More aggressive here at Commentary is Abrams writing against the regime-change critics, primarily American Jews, staunch Zionists like Hillel Halkin and Rabbi Jeremy Kalmanofsky of Anschei Chesed in New York City. No mention is made in this piece or at the Jerusalem Post of the criminal and extremist religious interests of the varied coalition parties. The extremist and racist Religious Zionism party is said to represent a miniscule social force in Israel with no mention made that the extremist members of this party are controlling central levers of the government and causing huge damage being done to the country (economic, military, diplomatic). No mention made of special privileges that the Haredi parties want to cement into law. No mention is made about a government whose leaders from West Bank settlements, illegal under international law, promote occupation and annexation, anti-Arab racism and anti-Palestinian violence. No mention is made that the army is collapsing. No mention made that the majority of the country’s gatekeepers are aligned against the government, and that opposition to the judicial crosses the political spectrum, that this opposition is led (in Hebrew) by very serious people, not “hysterics.”

It is with no little irony that the cover image for the JP editorial is of protesters against the government decrees. These are, of course, the very people whom the Tikvah Fund and Kohelet Forum have helped enflame and the streets and the country that they have helped set on fire, and whose lives they are endangering. Quintessential bad actors acting in bad faith since day 1 of their operation, Tikvah has a lot of money behind them. But they have no constructive role and nothing valuable to contribute to the flourishing of a democratic state, not in Israel and not in the United States, and nothing of value to contribute to Jewish community.

They write:

Dear Friend,

As the intense debate in Israel over the government’s judicial reforms continues in full force—and the entire Jewish world follows along with great interest—we at Tikvah have thoughtfully considered what constructive role we might play as an institution dedicated to the flourishing of the Jewish people and the Jewish state.

It is in this spirit that we offer two just-released contributions to this vital debate focused on what Tikvah does best: serious analysis and ideas.

First, our Chairman Elliott Abrams and CEO Eric Cohen have penned an
op-ed in the Jerusalem Post highlighting the importance of judicial reform as well as the higher national purpose of seeking a prudent compromise that restores unity and civility within Israeli society. As Abrams and Cohen write, “This is a time for statesmanship and wise compromise, not callous and inflammatory accusations…In our view, a negotiated and broadly consensual agreement remains the best outcome, incorporating those reforms that have the broadest democratic majority and postponing those that do not.”

You can read the full article by
clicking here or scrolling to the bottom of this email.

We are also pleased to share with you our comprehensive new reader, Thinking about Israel’s Judicial Debate, which collects a quarter-century of essays and arguments sponsored or published by Tikvah about the power of Israel’s Supreme Court.
You can sign up to receive it here.

Thank you—as always—for your
support. We hope these ideas make a valuable contribution in this moment of great consequence for the Jewish state.

About Tikvah and the Kohelet Forum there is this article in the mainline and centrist Times of Israel

About the Supreme Court and the coup, there are links in this blogpost that I recently posted here that reflect the considered views of Israeli scholars, lawyers, and legal-activists.

About conservative American Jews funding regime change and religious dictatorship in Israel, you can draw your own conclusions.

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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