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Israel: Political use of religion

Tuesday 8 March 2016, by siawi3

All the versions of this article: [English] [français]

Source: Gush Shalom, 5 mars 2016

Holy water

Uri Avnery

Friday, March 4, 2016

In recent months, Netanyahu has appointed new officers to several of the most important functions of government. The police chief is the last.

IT IS OUT of nowhere. Literally.

He had a new commander to the Israeli police. The last arrived in his term, several senior officers had been accused of sexual violence against women in their subordinate, another committed suicide after being accused of corruption. So we had to find someone from the outside.

When Benjamin Netanyahu announced his choice, everyone was stunned. Romi Alsheikh? Where the hell did he come from?

He did not look like a policeman, apart mustache. He never had anything to do with police work. He was, in fact, the deputy head of the Shin Bet secret - the domestic secret service.

Evil tongues whispered that there was a simple reason for this strange appointment: the head of the Shin Bet was about to be transferred. Netanyahu did not qu’Alsheikh successor. That’s why instead sent it direct the police.

Alsheikh the name is a corruption of the very Arab al-Sheikh - “the old”. His father is of Yemeni descent, her mother is from Morocco.

This is the first police chief to wear a yarmulke. It is also the first to be colon. That’s why we were waiting for his first significant statement. She came this week and concerned mothers who weep for their son.

Grief, said Alsheikh, is really a Jewish sentiment. Jewish mothers mourn their children. No Arab mothers. That’s why they let them throw stones against our soldiers, knowing they will probably be destroyed.

This seems primitive? This is because it is primitive. It is also rather frightening that our new chief of police, the man responsible for enforcing law and order, perceive things as primitive way.

A FEW days later, our Defence Minister, Moshe Ya’alon, who controls a much larger empire, repeated this claim. The Arab mourning, said he has can not compare to the Jewish mourning. This is because the Jews love life, so that the Arabs love death.

When our brave soldiers (all our soldiers are brave) sacrifice their lives, it is to defend the life of our nation, while Arab terrorists carry out suicide missions to go to heaven. Their mothers encourage. Thus the Arabs.

All these super-patriots are too young to remember that Jewish Palestine mothers encouraged their son and daughters to engage in clandestine organizations against the British occupation (a fight for life, of course). Perhaps the British police they imagined the same thing about Jewish mothers - forgetting that a few years before millions and millions of white Christian Europeans had joined the army, with the blessing of their mothers to kill. For life and freedom.

When two such senior figures such nonsense repeated almost word for word, there can be only one reason: they read it in the “explanatory bulletins” broadcast daily by the Prime Minister’s office to all ministers government and all officials. (In Israel, we do not like to use the word “propaganda” - instead, we say “explanation” - hasbara in Hebrew.)

A WORD about the kippah of Chief Alsheikh police.

When I was a teenager in Tel Aviv, I have almost never seen anyone wear a yarmulke. Not in school (which I left at age 14 to earn a living), nor in the Irgun underground, nor in the army I saw a classmate or friend wear such headgear. Young people were ashamed to wear it.

Nowadays, almost half the people you see on television wearing skullcaps. It is true that some of the door or so of such a size that the camera can not see. But government officials wear them like a badge of honor, to signify that they are true followers of the dominant ideology. As a red star in China or tie the United States.

In recent months, Netanyahu has appointed new officers to several of the most important functions of government. The police chief is the last. One of them is the Attorney General (called “Legal Adviser of the Government”), the most important government official with extensive powers. Another is the new head of the Shin Bet. Unlike any of their predecessors, they all wear the kippa.

To understand the meaning, one must understand the Jewish religion. This is quite different from, say, the Christian religion, and much closer to Islam. Everything about the tradition “Judeo-Christian” is based on ignorance.

The Hebrew word for religion is “Dat”. As the Arabic equivalent “Din”, it basically means “law”. Judaism is a set of commands (613 in the Bible alone) imposed by God. In return, God to “selected” as “his” people and we “gave” the Holy Land. You can not be Jewish without belonging to the Jewish people that has the Holy Land forever.

Since 2000 and over the Jews were scattered all over the world. Their attachment to the Holy Land was purely spiritual. The Jewish people was a religious concept.

Then came Zionism. It was invented in the late 19th century. Almost all its creators were sincere atheists. They did not believe in a God who was “exiled” Jews.

When I was young person in this country spoke of a “Jewish state”. We were talking about a “Jewish state.” A marginal extremist group (nicknamed “Canaanites”) even stated that we were a new Hebrew nation that had nothing to do with Judaism. Many in my generation were on this line of thought, but did use quite those words.

I am often asked why a militaristic resolved as David Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister and defense minister, had exempted the religious students from military service. My explanation is very simple: like most of us, he thought the Jewish religion in this country was disappearing. Zionism had supplanted. The new Hebrew pioneer did not need all these religious absurdities.

It then came the 1967 war, victory “miraculous”, the conquest of the country to the Jordan, and all the holy places. Far from dying, the Jewish religion suddenly experienced a new life. Currently she is developing rapidly, we can see skullcaps everywhere. Especially among settlers.

The rejuvenated religion is closely linked to extreme right-wing ideology, ultra-nationalist, hate Arabs. This is the wave on which Netanyahu, non-religious, super-nationalist opportunist who does not eat kosher, surfing now. Virtually every day-literally - new laws and new religious nationalists bills appear.

A bill says that when in doubt, judges must “consult” Jewish law (the “Halacha”). This old law, part of which dates back to 2500 years, treats women as inferior beings and condemns homosexuals to stoning. It has no connection with modern life. Another bill allows the majority of the Knesset to exclude the parliament elected members who do not recognize the state as “Jewish and democratic” (which has the appearance of an oxymoron). School books secular schools receive religious tone (but not yet burnt). Independent-minded teachers are fired. The Education Minister door, of course, a yarmulke. Six members of the prestigious Higher Education Council have resigned because of government actions to stuff this august body of religious and nationalist agitators.

Where is the so-called “left” in all this? One may ask. She is invisible. With few radicals such as the common Arab group of Knesset, they are silent, with the idea that they need to move to the right (qualified as “center”) to keep his head above the holy water .

I will not be surprised if one evening by lighting the television - that qu’apparaîtrait Benjamin Netanyahu heads with a beautiful clean yarmulke.