It happened in the Netherlands. After decades of post-WW II administrations with always the Christian parties holding them hostage, the left and the right suddenly united, leaving the religious fundamentalists outside the coalition, reaching societal goals decades overdue. Could that happen in the Holy Land?
Then economics (the regular interpretations of left vs right) would need to take more of a backseat. Also security considerations (the regular Israeli top priority) would no longer come first.
Could we have a secular Israeli government? It’s done in the US–a very religious population having a secular state–why not in Israel? Most Israelis already define themselves as more democratic than religious.
What would be there to gain? Civil and gay marriage (and adoption). Easier state-acknowledged conversions (half a million Russian Jews). Breaking the monopoly on kashrut and doing away with the chief rabbis and neighborhood rabbis as paid by the state. Let congregations pay their rabbis with some state subsidy (tax deduction for synagogue fees).
Yeshiva students would be equaled to university students. Kollel learners and foreign workers should finally get paid the minimum wage, not just pocket money. And–paradoxically–when poverty disappears, the rich will get even richer. The economy would be greened, army or national service will be mandatory on everyone–everyone, you read that right.
Which parties would be ready to separate between synagogue and state and which not? Shas and the Charedi parties obviously are not buying and neither are the United Right and Arab parties–though most of them could support socialist agenda points that might be hard on the Likud.
Gay marriage may be the canary in the coal mine to identify which politicians and parties are ready to separate between private convictions and state policy. Meretz, Labor, Blue and White, Likud, New Right and Identity each have no trouble with gay marriage. That would be an interesting and powerful coalition! In the latest poll, that would be 80 out of 120 Knesset seats. Who could head such a giant? How about Bibi?
Unrealistic? We’ve seen Netanyahu think outside of the box before, making quick unexpected moves! Never say never.