Israel has stopped representing the Jewish nation, and we didn’t even notice.
The parliament was transferred from the Knesset to the Herzliya Conference, and we didn’t even notice.
Israel’s leadership was transferred from the prime minister to the president, and we didn’t even notice.
In his recent article, philosopher Ohad Kamin highlighted the connection between International Holocaust Day and Israel’s lost status as the representative of the Jewish nation. International Holocaust Day is a new phenomenon. Until just a few years ago, nobody had heard of it. Until then, it was clear that the mother of the Jewish nation – the State of Israel – determines its birthdays and memorial days. Nobody would have thought of designating a Holocaust Day other than what the State of the Jews had already designated.
But former chief justice Aharon Barak has already explained that he does not see the State of Israel as a Jewish state, but rather a state of all its citizens. Israel’s president, Shimon Peres, explained that all we are is a Hebrew-speaking Singapore. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu retreated from his just demand to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and returned to his “Place Among the Nations.” As such, it is rather surprising that it took the world an entire 62 years to understand that Israel really is not a Jewish state and to set its own Holocaust Day – not the one that the Hebrew-speaking Singapore commemorates.
The transfer of prestigious deliberations from the Knesset to the Herzliya Conference is a symptom of the same process. The parliament of the rabble in Jerusalem has been abandoned to all sorts of marginal and insignificant MKs. The people who really make the decisions try to keep away from the popular representation in the Holy City, preferring to conduct their deliberations in the elitist bubble in hi-tech Herzliya. To speak there, one has to be a champion of the leftist agenda or a senior official who is not a Jew – or one has to pay a lot of money. If you are the prime minister, they may allow you to speak – but not necessarily.
And as Hagai Segal explained last week in the Makor Rishon newspaper, the prime minister no longer dares to make a move without the backing of the real ruler, the visionary of the Palestinian state: Shimon Peres.
The rug is being pulled out from under the feet of the Jews and – not coincidentally – from under the feet of democracy.
The media reported that the man who threw a shoe at Chief Justice Dorit Beinisch was severely beaten by security officials after he was arrested. Isn’t the brutal beating of a handcuffed man who is in official custody a more serious crime than the actual throwing of the shoe? But nobody asks any questions.
We have already become accustomed to the fact that the rule here is not the rule of the people. By the way, what do you think would happen if an average person would call the police because somebody threw a shoe at him? Would the police show up within seconds and cart off the perpetrator, holding him until the end of court proceedings?
Israel is not democratic and Jewish. It is democratic because it is Jewish. When we neuter the state of its Jewishness, we neuter its democracy of all meaning. Ultimately, the loss of Israel’s Jewish identity brings about the loss of its international legitimacy.
“We dreamed of a place in which the new Book of Books would be written as a stage in world redemption, because you are a chosen nation. We had expectations, and look what you have done” (British academicians explaining, in Makor Rishon, to the deacon of Israel’s Sapir College why they are so angry at Israel).
But poetic justice is alive and well. The glittering speakers who ran away from the Jews in Jerusalem to the cosmopolitan glass walls of Herzliya now have arrest warrants waiting for them in London.
Manhigut Yehudit Applauds Soldier Achiya Ovadia
After he was court-martialed and served a jail term for raising a sign against the expulsion of Jews, the soldier Achiya Ovadia was summoned to a hearing. At the hearing, his commanders demanded that he apologize and renege on his previous position or face suspension from the Hesder program and a three-year assignment in a non-combat position. Ovadia informed his commanders that he would prefer to sit in jail and study Torah for three years, and that he would not submit to their political directives.
Ovadia is among the few who have shown responsibility and leadership in the face of the government’s tyranny. He has done a tremendous service to Israel, and Manhigut Yehudit salutes him.