"THIS IS WHAT THEOCRACY LOOKS LIKE!"
On Thursday, May 10, the New York Times published a front page story about instances of sexual abuse of children in the Hassidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn. The story wasn't about how scandalous it was that such things happen in this large (said to number 250,000) expanding, insular theocratic world.
The scandal is that those parents and maverick rabbis who denounced the assaults, wanted the culprits called to account and prevented from repeating their crimes and, in the face of community inaction, even went to the police, have been publicly pilloried, declared traitors to the Jews and treated as outcasts.
Children whose parents have pressed charges against sexual predators have been expelled from school (privately run religious schools), relatives of those who have sought justice are pressured to make their brother, son, or in-law shut up, and fliers have been posted in the neighborhood listing who is to be shunned.
In this Brooklyn based Jewish Statelet all its members must submit to the discipline of the Rebbes and abide by their rulings. They say, “never report a crime committed by another Jew.” “Don't ever bring the goyish outside world into our affairs. Don't make us look bad,you will be crushed...removed from the community.” Our Brooklyn Jewish State is run by a gang of religious/political theocrats who impose a Talmudic police state on its inhabitants. Any entanglement with the outside gentile world must be done through the offices of the official religious leadership. Obviously they can't control everything in their little kingdom, but they try and use the power they have to keep everyone in line. If a person's whole life is the religious cult that they belong to, the threat of excommunication is a powerful one.
But, “Wait a minute!” you might protest. “You can't make an analogy between a Jewish cult in Brooklyn and the real Jewish State of Israel. Israel is secular and democratic.” True, the founders of the zionist state were not religious, but they based their supposed secular nationalism upon being a part of a religion: Judaism. But the secular nationalist/zionists took all of the fairy tales of the Bible and tried to invent some sort of plausible historical cover story to make it credible, but it's essentially religion dressed up as social science. As a sweetener to keep the religious fundamentalists from rocking the boat, they turned over to the orthodox rabbis the control of marriage, divorce, child custody, funerals, religious affairs (meaning no reform or conservative rabbis) and even the definition of who is a Jew (meaning who can be a citizen).
If you want to see the future of Israeli society, look at the Brooklyn orthodox cults. This same element is growing in size and influence in the so called secular Israel. The orthodox are a rising force in Israeli society and are infringing on the democratic rights of the secular Israelis, particularly a woman's ability to participate in everyday public life. But this threat is to secular Jews in Israel. The 25% of Israeli citizens who are not Jews (Palestinian Muslims and Christians) already have no rights, thanks to the seculars (the non-Israeli citizens under Israeli domination in the West Bank and Gaza have less than no rights).
The secular zionist Jews in Israel have always resembled the orthodox cults in their “us against them” mentality. For the religious nut cases they are the chosen people living by the rule of god (or is it G-D?) and the Torah and not being defiled by the inferior contaminated ones, the goyem. For the alleged “secular” Zionist nationalists they are circling the wagons to defend themselves against the rest of the world that is dedicated around the clock to killing all the Jews. These zionists thrive upon universal, enduring anti-semitism to bind them together. Instead of the Torah, they base their beliefs upon the Holocaust. That is their Torah. The results are similar.
Democracy in Israel, from the beginning, has been only for Jews. Israel in now under increasing pressure because of the staunch resistance of the Palestinians and the growing world wide awareness of the ethnic cleansing being carried out by Israel along with the weakening of the influence of the USA, Israel's vital backer.
This pressure is causing the secular Zionists to demand loyalty and orthodoxy from the congregation...that is to say the Jewish Israelis. Israel's leaders have said that the Jewish character of Israel is more important than the democratic frills. If an Israeli Jew supports the boycotting of products that come from the stolen Palestinian land of the West Bank, he or she is subject to prosecution. Those who try and hold a meeting to commemorate the Nakba (the Catastrophe, as the Palestinians call it in 1948 when 700,000 were driven from their land) are subject to legal action. Other laws are being proposed which will further restrict free speech and action. The distance between the orthodox religious nuts and the “secular” Zionist/Nationalists is closing. Netanyahu is making himself the Prime Rebbe.