Simcha Rothman: Making liberal dreams come true?
We have a tendency to demonize in Israel, in case you haven’t noticed. What remains of the left-wing are ‘traitors’ and the roughly 10% of the voting populace out demonstrating are ‘anarchists’ operating at the behest of foreign capital. MK Simcha Rothman, who is spearheading the fundamental dismantling of our system of government under the guise of ‘reforms’, has been demonized as well.
First off, I’d like to clarify that my check from the amorphous foreign entity allegedly funding the activity of my fellow anarchists did not arrive this month. Hellooo!! That’s Greenberg with two e’s, not an i!
But aside from that, I think that many of us in the liberal camp might actually want to take a moment and thank MK Rothman for laying the groundwork for so many changes that we ourselves would like to see someday.
Check Your Balances at the Door
The thing is, as long as we retain free and fair elections (not entirely a given, but let’s leave that for the sake of argument), this government will eventually be replaced by another.
Yet the substance of the changes in the ‘reforms’ – should they pass – well, those will stay around for anyone to exploit. That means that if an unscrupulous center-left coalition has the bare-minimum 61-seat majority apparently necessary to radically reinvent Israeli society, we could be talking a serious drop-your-checks-and-grab-your-balances party!
I would personally never advocate sweeping, unilateral societal changes without a broad national consensus. However, thanks to MK Rothman’s ‘reforms’, the following laws could easily be (in my layman’s understanding of things) not only passed, but implemented. And even if they’re not strictly legal – who’s gonna stop the government from implementing them, the Supreme Court?
- The Universal Public Education Curriculum Act of 2024 – Ending all public funding for any educational institution that does not fully adopt the Ministry of Education curriculum. This curriculum would include not only math, science and English, but also a full course of study on evolutionary science. It would include no religious study whatsoever. Moreover, it would mandate diversity hiring at all schools to reflect the rich mix of Israeli society: women, LGBTQ, Arabs, you name it.
- The Family Law Act of 2024 – Limiting adjudication of family law solely to courts under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice – i.e. not rabbinical courts.
- The Military Conscription Act of 2024 – Ending all draft exemptions for military-age men and women. Anyone whose conscience, abilities or ethnic background does not allow them to serve in the military would be required to contribute an equivalent amount of time in a national service program.
- The Universal Public Transportation Act of 2024 – Making public transport universally available, 7 days a week, country-wide. Routes would, of course, be adapted to avoid offending religious sensitivities.
- The Government Disbursement Act of 2024 – Ending all government stipends not covered under the auspices of Bituah Leumi. Men and women who are physically, emotionally and socially able to work may choose to do so if they require income.
I’m sure I missed more than a few items in this fictitious wish list. And, look, I’m not a lawyer, just a lowly writer. So please do correct me or suggest other laws in the comments. And there’s really no reason for name-calling. Just sayin’.
Let me reiterate: I would personally never advocate or support unilateral strong-arm structural governmental changes without consensus. It’s a recipe for toxic disunity at best – civil unrest or violence at worst.
But MK Rothman and his supporters would be well-advised to recall that the checks and balances they are attempting to eliminate protect the values that they hold dear, too.