Is Israel Heading for a 3,000-Year-Old Deja Vu Moment?

As historian Will Durant observed, “A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has first destroyed itself from within.”

Slowly but surely what appears to be happening in today’s Israel isn’t too different from what happened 3,000 years-ago…Religious differences are once again dividing this ‘stiff necked’ people.

Yet today’s Jeroboam is a very modern man who has thrown in his lot with the most extreme elements of Israeli politics just to maintain power at any cost.

This isn’t a passing phase. As the Haredim and Hassids multiply their power over Israel will grow and the now non religious or marginally religious Jewish population will find itself, first, having their rights curtailed and second, becoming an eventual minority which might prove the end of the state.

You have to figure much of the Arab world is praying for that day, a time when a new super frum majority will be unwilling and unable to defend Israel.

Or perhaps this may be preceded by the country splitting into orthodox Israel and liberal Judah. In any case it’s an historic absurdity that a relatively small ethno-religious people who have been through so much hell for 2,000 years, instead of being united in its resurrected homeland, are gradually heading toward another schism.

The protestation that Israel does not have a state religion is equally absurd given the Sabbath laws and Rabbis being in charge of deciding who is a Jew and who can marry other Jews. The idea that Israel uses the Torah as a substitution for a written constitution makes it clear that the country is a crypto-theocracy professing to be a democacy.

Yet, as long as the Likud led coalition exists…which could be infinite…the divide between the population will grow. The new nation state law is a needless slap in the face to non Jewish citizens of Israel.

First, it’s an oxymoron for a developed and sophisticated democracy to be designated as a state for a specific ethno-relgious people. This is normal in the Muslim world, but not in the First World. Israel’s independence declaration and the 1917 Balfour Declaration made it clear there will be a Jewish homeland in Brtish mandated Palestine. Codifying such a designation alone, yet having no constitution is rather hypocritical.

It was written that Israel would be a light unto nations…With its resurrection in 1948 in one of the world’s most brutal and repressed regions, it has had a chance to one again exhibit this, which it has done to some extent as the only Middle East country where Jews, Arabs, women and gay people live in peace and with equal rights. But those rights are now in danger of being gradually shaved away if extreme elements of Jewish society create a new schism in the country.

Jews of all persuasion and background should unite in the common cause of survival, with or without the Messiah.

About the Author
A London based American journalist with a long wide ranging career spanning print, radio TV and online news.