Monday, June 14, 2004

Regarding "Religious Zionists cannot retreat" by Yisrael Harel, Ha'Aretz, June 10, 2004 ( published in Ha'Aretz, June 14, 2004 ): Ironically enough, even though Yisrael Harel claims to disapprove of some settlers' use of Nazi-era imagery to express their frustrations and feelings of betrayal ( Gush Katif = Stalingrad ), he himself - like so many on the Jewish and Israeli Right, as well as on the non-Jewish Left in Europe and elsewhere - freely uses connotations that suggest that comparing the behavior of Israeli security forces to that of Hitler's soldiers and henchmen is possible and legitimate. How else can we explain Mr Harel's use of the term "Judenrein" to describe a post-occupation Gush Katif? Although the National Religious Party has had some of Israel's foremost political leaders and democrats among its members, Yisrael Harel proves that ( at least his interpretation of ) religion and democracy do not mix. By saying that a certain approach to religion and politics "must not get the upper hand even if the majority of the NRP's Central Committee favor this" and that "there is no chance, even if he is elected party leader, that [ Zevulun Orlev ] will be able to withstand the tremendous pressure to resign" he makes perfectly clear that his is a version of democracy according to which a minority can always bully its way towards imposing its truth upon the majority. Just as people like Mr Harel try - and probably will succeed - to win the power struggle within the NRP, they are constantly trying to impose their apocalyptic agenda upon us valueless, selfhating but still somehow democratic Zionists. It is up to what is left of the secular-Jewish leadership in Israel to make clear and sure that the Harels and Feiglins will not be the ones who determine the future of what started out as a beautiful national enterprise.

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