This article was first published in the Opinion section of Arutz Sheva.
In order to resolve the conflict between Jews and Arabs, first we should resolve the real conflict; that is to say, the one between those who want an atheist Israel, Jewish only by denomination but democratic in substance, and those Jews who think democracy can only hurt the Jewish People and who want Israel to be Jewish.
Democracy is a Greek word that stands for an ancient law-making method, based on people's power, demos meaning "people" and cratos, "power". By the way, democracy also mistakes quantity for quality, making laws of the "more" as opposed to of the "better".
The positive values we commonly attribute to democracy today, like the respect for the other and helping the weak, are actually Jewish values. In reality, democracy itself is the dictatorship of a few tax-consumers over the majority of the tax-payers. Over and above the age-old problem of corruption (the "people's representatives" tend to represent themselves and not the people), for the Jews, there is a much bigger problem. Should the people's representatives decide that a Golden Calf is necessary, the government would be obliged to respect this "law" and build one.
The Golden Calf episode actually warns the Jews against democracy. Democracy may be good for the nations, but the Jews were clearly warned not to adopt it. The State of Israel today is ruled by these democratic, Golden-Calf-building Jews. In the Knesset, furthermore, there are Arab legislators who determine the present and the future of the Jewish People. This is untollerable.
Jews also know only too well what Hellenism is all about, what it means for them, and remember well their victory over it every year, at Hanukah. It should also be said that Judaism is much older than democracy and stands for an altogether different principle. Jews believe that the Law is given by G-d, certainly not by some elected individuals. In substance: Man should not take into his own hands the legislative function; this belongs to HaShem, blessed be He. These are just some of the reasons why we are for our G-d-given Law in our G-d-given Land; or, to put it in simple words, for a Jewish Yisrael. We want Israel to be a modern, theocratic kingdom.
Please don't misunderstand this statement. I'm not talking about individual observance - that is a private and religious matter. What I'm talking about is the institutional setup we shall have in our country, in our Promised Land, in Eretz Yisrael.
We can have no trust in an atheist and democratic power-structure that has nothing to do with Judaism. That is why it constantly negotiates our very presence on our Land. Let's stand up for Jewish Yisrael! After all, there are many democratic countries in the world today, whereas there is only one Israel. Some people say that it is simplistic to "pit" democracy against Judaism because the current regime practices neither. Well, I agree with them. The current regime practices neither democracy nor Judaism. I also agree in saying that it is simplistic to "pit" democracy against Judaism. I am a simple man and I want simple answers.
The "simple" fact, however, is that democracy assigns sovereignty to the people, whereas the Torah assigns this role to G-d. Now, this doesn't seem to me a little, insignificant difference.
I also "simply" think that we should do everything in our power to adapt the model of our institutions in Israel to the model of the institutions we pray for every day. "Now, that is ideology," a reader might say. I think it is just a question of being Jewish, marching in HaShem's path.
There are important arguments against democracy on the ground as well. Think, the whole demographic issue is a byproduct of democracy. Without democracy, the Arab birthrate becomes irrelevant. Furthermore, with no democracy, you cut out a whole corrupt class of non-Jewish "leaders".
Judaism provides us with the institutions we need and we know it. There is just one more thing I'd like to mention. I'm no fool and I understand perfectly well that what I'm saying is "unrealistic". It is unrealistic to propose to end the so-called democratic regime today in Israel or anywhere else, for that matter. But that does not mean that saying it loud and clear is not useful.
The fact is that "extremisms" serve not to realize they declared program. They contribute to determining where the center stands. An example? Today, we take it for granted that our very territory is challenged. Why? Because the palestinists are shouting this extremism into our and the world's ears for years. In other words, we are loosing out because we always want to be "impartial" and "just", forgetting that we are fighting for our very survival against a deadly enemy. In this way, we allowed the center to slide down on the palestinists' side.
So, what we need now is to reposition the center to the center. And the way to do this is to put up a united, Jewish, political, non violent extremism. This will do the trick and resolve many problems on the ground. It's time for the Jews to pretend Jewish institutions in Eretz Israel!
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