Barry Setnor

Judicial overhaul – a unified pathway to the future

The current discussions taking place in President Herzog’s residency pertaining to Judicial Reform, appears to be an exercise designed to discredit the coalition government. He appears to be favoring those advocating a form of liberal democracy not based on Jewish history, traditions, and governance. Herzog, along with many in the media, opposition members, protesters, and a large majority in the Diaspora Jewry are attempting to water down Jewish particularism.

The goal of deepening the dialogue within the nation must start with, and take into account the actual lived history of the Jewish people.

For over 3,700 years the Jewish people have been led by aristocrats; leading families, priests, prophets, and sages. The concept of universal suffrage and the supremacy of the individual in determining political and social behavior is foreign to Jewish history, and foreign to Jewish culture. For all of history, Jewish leaders lead based on customs, with a general sense of consensus among members of the community.

Today a majority of Jewish organizations and leaders are attempting to compel others in the community to accept the supreme right of the individual in matters of governance, social behavior, and morality. These efforts to rewrite Jewish history, constitutes the “great existential threat” to Jewish peoplehood.

Finding common ground, finding a new set of shared values and practices, finding social stability, firstly will require those in the liberal democracy camp to come out of their echo chamber. They must stop demonizing those that want to maintain a way of life based on 3,700 of lived Jewish history. They must demonstrate in practice not words, that they are going the extra mile in support of those not enamored by customs and practices foreign to Jewish history, customs, and traditions.

Jewish organizations and leaders advocating for a foreign based form of liberal democracy in Israel should recognize, that it must be measurably different from practices in other western countries. The measurable differences must be reflected in Judicial outcomes. With this understood, a new equilibrium incorporating both Jewish lived history, and liberal democracy can be reconciled.

Ignoring 3,700 years of Jewish history, customs, and traditions is unacceptable.

About the Author
Barry Setnor is 81 years old - secular - and politically Conservative. He held many senior management positions in major Canadian retail oriented entities.
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