“Defensive Democracy”

By Ted Belman

YNET just published an opinion piece Democracy at risk, Israel’s secular democracy may come to an end due to Orthodox birthrate which I found interesting.

Last week the Knesset decided to extend the Tal Law. Few opposed this move. This is in fact an admission that the secular public has tired of convincing the strictly Orthodox community that it should prepare itself for a working life and that it should contribute in some way to the security of the State.

[..] It appears that the secular public has retreated from the campaign over the soul of the republic and has come to terms with its defeat. Even now, about a sixth of Knesset members come from political movements that strive to forfeit the people’s sovereignty and to transfer the regime to the hands of a religious council. Members of the strictly Orthodox parties do not deny that this is their vision; however, they explain, it should not be viewed as a political plan. [Note his concern is about the religious minority wagging the dog rather than the Arab minority wagging the dog.]

When the time comes, this is how they respond to debates on this matter, the Jews will bend in favor of the rule of the Torah, and the contradiction between democracy and theocracy will disappear anyway.

For my part, I worry that the religious will become too strong. I want to end the Tal Law which gives them special treatment. They must support themselves and share the burden of defending the state. But I was surprised that he is of the opinion the seculars are caving.

He believes that the seculars should defend their way from the advance of Torah, just was we in America believe that the west should defend its way from Islamic encroachment. He coins the phrase “defensive democracy”.

Defensive democracy

The secular public can defend itself; however, a counter war will endanger its equilibrium. It prefers retreating, despite a retreat ensuring the destruction of their homes in the near future. Besides the fear of conflict, secular flaccidity stems from doubts as to the meaning of democracy, a tendency to shy away from judging the values of others, and an enchantment with multiculturalism.

Such doubts and temptations accompany the victory of liberal democracy worldwide, but there is a crucial difference between what’s happening here and what’s happening in societies we profess to resemble. Other democratic societies are not subject to real and immediate dangers of destruction, whereas our defective democracy is very close indeed.

Secular society requires a “defensive democracy,” a term used with regards to the campaign against global terror. However, the threat to the State’s way of life and existence does not only come from armed organizations and insane individuals.

Defensive democracy will not sanctify the right of the minority to educate its offspring to its ways if its path leads to the destruction of democracy. It will not impose enlightened education, but it will not fund other education either.

Defensive democracy will not bear the burden of the minority’s livelihood if this minority advocates parasitism as a way of life that impoverishes the majority. It will cure itself of the destructive concept that another’s values, whatever they are, are equal in value to the values on which democracy is predicated. It will not boost a culture that despises multiculturalism and strives to instill a single culture – a culture of a minority that thrives thanks to the tolerance of the majority.

WOW. Some good ideas here.

July 26, 2007 | 9 Comments »

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9 Comments / 9 Comments

  1. Yamit

    As always your contribution to the debate is informative.

    From my point of view, the Rabbis didn’t try hard enough to solve the problem of the Agunah. I know there have been many responses on the issue. But where there is a will there is a way. The government also has a role to force the husband where appropriate.

    I just had a conversation with my orthodox, liberal, daughter, (not an oxymoron) and she asked me what did I mean by a “Jewish state”? How Jewish? No pork in the country? No non Kosher pepperoni? No one should be forced to comply with Jewish law. What are your thoughts on all this. I think Feiglin doesn’t want to impose compliance with Jewish law.

    If Jewish law didn’t allow for withdrawal no matter what, I would not want to comply and risk another Masada.

    I agree with your remarks about the draft and procreation.

  2. Ted I have to disagree with you on on a couple of points A- As most of the religious in Israel are Orthodox in some form and all follow some version of Halacha They the roughly 30% plus I dont know how many more very traditional Jews we could add to that number cannot violate Halacha even if it means going against the laws of the State. Up until recently the State in its wisdom walked a very fine line in not passing and imposing State laws that overtly conflict with Halacha. So while since 48 we have had tensions ;one side or the other made compromises.

    A good many of or laws were inherited from the British mandatory Government, Ottoman laws are still on the books, and a lot of other very non Jewish jurisprudence Bull that is pulled out of their dusty corners when ever the Government wants to exert its power over some minority that may be giving them problems.

    You mention Interests of the State? Interests are proscribed by those few individuals who stand to gain something. Peres has his interests, BB his interests, the religious community has their interests, the left have theirs and so do the right. All will tell you that their interests are the states interests. Since they all conflict we then turn to democracy or at least our form of democracy which is far from any bodies Ideal.

    Sharon sold Gaza pullout as a National Interest. Barak sold Lebanon pullout as a National Interest, BB sold Wye Plantation, Hebron as a National Interest and Begin sold Camp David as a National Interest. All were wrong in that their motives and results turned out to their moves just the oposit of our National Interest.

    Defending culture? Whose culture? what culture?The Drug Culture which is pandemic here? Alcholism culture which is of epidemic proportions! American plastic pop culture? The support of 10% of the population are millionaires and over 50% that cant finish the month or are on some level of Government handouts, including most government workers. This is the culture they wish to protect? Most of those who wish to protect that culture know the High street in London or fifth ave. in MY better than 90% of Israel. We are closer to Ecquador than Amsterdam, when we have 10-20 families controlling 90% of the wealth of the country while over 50% are living below some artificial poverty line, I doubt whether those 50% more or less could give a rats ass about Yaron London and the Left. The londons of Israel really Hate anything smacking of Jewishness. They have no use for the right in Israel, The religious, Israeli Jewish Minorities in development towns, Farms etc. Their Israeli experience and lives revolve around Tel Aviv and Gush Dan, period.

    I dont think the reason for reconstituting the National Home for the Jews was to clone every negative of American and European society and igoring everything good and positive from those places. But thats what has happened.

    If you want to get them to work you must do a few structural changes A/ reduce their political power by electing reps from districts. This will reduce any political influence they have as most of them live in 3-4 major communities. It will also reduce by the same system the Arab political influence in Israel. We stop Paying them to have kids and by the same token stop paying the Arabs to have more kids but we will be clever and find a way to compensate the Ultra religious in ways the Arabs wont qualify. I think it obscene that in a Zionist country we pay the Arabs to Breed and then complain about a Demographic problem. but thats what our Left is all about!! Arabs yes Jews Nyet.

    Narvey is correct but I would vote in this case for More modern National Religious Zionist Camp and not Those Parasites. They are in every sense Parasites. Their Brothers in NYC and Antwerp work their Buts off and still manage to keep their communities in tact. They Pay taxes and are considerd for the most part as good citizens. If it is not happening here it is because of their political Power. We do not have to outlaw religious parties just change the System in order to marginalize them as well as the Arab minority that is breeding at 3-4 to 1 against most Jewish communities. Problem is that the left Labor party and Meretz have many Arab voters and they would not cut off one of the most important branches upon which they both sit.

    Right now only about 40% of all elegable inducties in IDF actually serve ,so we have a situation where the elites send their kids to America and the poor and religious do most of the serving. While Tel Aviv is a Big City they supply the fewist new recruits as evidenced in last Lebanon war where Tel Avivians were very few and far between.

    Neither You Ted nor London mention this particular gem.

    We are moving towards having a highly paid professional Army along Americas lines and I think this should get more attention amongst you and your readers and contributors.

    There are two major communities in Israel that Chose to be impoverished-The Haredim and the Arabs.they together make up anywhere from a third to half of our impoverished but they refuse to assimilate and refuse a modern education the Arab Women and the Haredi Men. This creates a gross distortion in our statistical poverty figures.

  3. I see the Haredim as the spiritual IDF. They serve by prayer and study. They are fulfilling the obligations of many by their service. The problem is a lack of respect for their contribution. The world believes that money is the only measure of worth. What does G-d say?
    I admire them very much for holding up a moral standard. To me they are a light unto the nations. They strive to be Holy in every aspect of their lives, which is highly commendable. For Israel to be a HOLY Nation there must me many more with the same devotion to HaShem as the Haredim. Not that everyone has to be the same but each doing his part with the same level of conviction.

  4. Orthodox Jewish law requires army service to defend the Land of Israel. Also, there is a small but growing trend within the Israeli Ultra-Orthodox community to serve in special units in the army (notably the Nachal Charedi program). The trick is to remind the Ultra-Orthodox of their halachic obligations and encourage their increased participation in defending Israel.

  5. I see Orthodox Judaism as necessary for the survival of Israel and all the Jewish people. I have in past likened Orthodox Judiasm to the root of Judaism and all those Judaic sects that stray to varying lengths from Orthodox Judaism as the flowers of Judaism.

    At various times in our Jewish history when the survival of Jewish civilization was threated by pogroms, assimilation or both, it was the tough unyielding orthodox root of Judaism that contributed most to the survival of Judaism and allowed Judaism to flower again.

  6. I am not happy in hindsight with this statement.

    For my part, I worry that the religious will become too strong. I want to end the Tal Law which gives them special treatment.

    As much as I respect the religious, I don’t want religion to rule the roost. I don’t want Israel to keep Judea and Samaria if it is not in our interest to do so. I don’t want religious law to be imposed on all citizens of Israel. In some cases I want the law of the state to overrule religious law such as in the case of the Agunah.

    I understand that for the IDF to accommodate the Haredim in the army is not worth the trouble. But efforts must be made to ensure alternate equivalent service. Welfare should be set up not to make poverty a choice but to end poverty by encouraging work.

    I look on the large haredim families as their contribution to national service.

  7. I did not mean to post this to support an attack on the Haredim. Search “Haredim” in the left column to see what posts I have made in support. Especially my comments to Beating the Religious in Jerusalem.

    Now the left have recognized that culture must be protected and so the shoe is on the other foot.

    The left generally throw the doors open to Islamification whereas the right want to defend its culture. But here London wants to protect his secular culture and proposes steps to do so. If only the left would likewise protect us from Islam and the Arabs. In fact the religious constantly protect its culture by pride, education and activism. That’s the way it should be.

  8. Such a secularist point of view reeks of ignorance. Judaism has a history of self-governance that covers thousands of years. Leaders have rarely been hereditary and have been chosen by the people because they were smart, responsible and immersed in the needs of those they served. To hold democracy up as the worst system of government, except for all the rest, is cute but inaccurate. Problems present themselves and need to be solved. Observant Jews have amalgamated their values with the needs of the state for decades. There are observant mayors, Knesset members, judges, government servants, etc. who serve with distinction. This condemnation of “religious people” is a prejudice like all others and needs to be treated as such.

  9. Yaron London is one of our better known LEFTIST PSEUDO INTELLECTUALS. He Hates the Jewish Ultra Religious just a tad more than our National Religious, and a tad more than any Secular Jewish Nationalist. He is a classic Post Zionist that nobody pays much attention to except those 2-3 Israelis who might read and agree with him.

    Lets say for arguments sake that I agree with him. Are the Ultra Religious the main culprits of those not contributing their fair share to Israeli society and conversely
    all those living off the dole and the poor Israeli Tax payer?

    The most blatant example of all London hates and deplores and finds as threat to his concept of Democracy are The Arabs living in Israel. some 1.3 million of them. Not as he implies the Ultra religious with Big families.
    The Arabs have 30% unemployment, dont serve for the most part not only in the IDF but do not perform any national service whatso ever. Most do not pay taxes, build where they can illegally, are largest sector of population in our prisons, openly denounce the State and Her Symbols,as well as openly support their Brothers who are enemies of the State.

    The Ultra Religious for the most part are not qualified in most cases to find employment. The Army dosent want them as their religious requirements become a burden to a largely secular Army. They do how erver on a voluntary basis perform a lot of nations service especially within their own communities and hospitals, soup kitchens, and paramedical and ambulance services for all Israelis. Yad Sarah founded by the now Mayor of Jerusalem provides free of any charges medical equipment like wheel chairs crutches etc for all Israelis in need. 80% of all active charities are run by the Ultra Religious communities. Their large Families put to bed the fear of Secular Left re: Demographic Arab threats.

    Where the arab may have 5 wives and 10 children from ea. wife and collect huge amount of Israeli Government payouts the Ultra Religious have 1 wife and 10 kids.
    Lets say for a moment that we stop financially supporting them, what then would happen to their children. Does society have some social obligation on their behalf? I dont think most secular Israelis would go for that option and most have learned to live with it like a mild tooth ache. Except of course for the Yaron Londons of Israel whose Children have Left Israel and Live in the USA, Just Like Olmerts!

    Olmert is a Jew Hater who should have been dumped years ago but he was one of the Darlings of the Israeli Pseudo Intellectual Left and has made a career out of being one. The Times of past him by but I guess nobody has told him yet. He is to say the least a disingenuous anti -semite as well as a deceitful human being. Maybe even that is giving him to much benefit of the doubt!!

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