Thursday, January 18, 2018

Israel Rafalovich — Israel: On the Way to a Theocratic State

Liberal democracy, or theocratic apartheid state?
Until today the state of Israel has not decided whether it is a theocracy for Jews or a democratic sovereign state. The ultra-orthodox appear to be on the road to winning this fundamental battle of principles. Ultra-orthodox radicals are increasingly occupying key positions, thereby imposing their stamp on the secular majority. Israeli’s secular democrats are growing increasingly worried that Israel’s future may resemble Saudi Arabia and Iran more than Europe.
Israeli Jews increasingly interpret the identity of the state in religious terms, asserting the priority of Jewish over democratic values. Israel’s shift toward orthodoxy is not merely a religious one. Since the vast majority of Orthodox Jews are also against any agreement with the Palestinians, the chances of reaching a peace deal diminish with each passing day. Nor is time on the side of those who want a democratic Israel.
Israel defines itself as a “Jewish and democratic state.” However, because Israel has never created a system of checks and balances between these two sources of authority, they are closer than ever to a terrible clash.
Israel: On the Way to a Theocratic State
Israel Rafalovich, journalist and analyst based in Brussels, Belgium who covers European and international relations

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