Michael Boyden

Something is rotten in the State of Israel

I write these words as a Jew and as a Reform rabbi, who made aliyah out of a love for Israel and a belief in the privilege we all have of having been born into a world in which there is a Jewish state after 2,000 years of wandering, persecution and yearning for a return to our land.

I write these words between Holocaust Memorial Day and Remembrance Day.

I write these words as the father of Yonatan Boyden z”l, who bravely sacrificed his life in defense of this country having volunteered to participate in a dangerous rescue mission in southern Lebanon nearly 27 years ago.

I write these words out of disgust and shame, because I see values that are so precious to us being trampled underfoot.

It is not just that Benny Gantz betrayed those who voted for him when he decided to join a so-called national unity government when he had publicly pledged that he would not enter a government led by a man accused of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

What kind of a national unity government is it anyway when Arab Israelis, who make up 20 percent of our population, are excluded? Where would our hospitals and pharmacies be without them at this challenging time?

I hear the desperation of the owners of restaurants, market stalls and shopkeepers in the shadow of the corona, whose businesses have been closed down and who don’t have enough money to feed their families and pay their rent while Ikea has been allowed to re-open and trade once again.

Could it in any way be connected with the fact that the business is partly owned by the billionaire chasid, Shalom Fisher, who is a close associate of our health minister, Yaakov Litzman, who promised us at a press conference several weeks ago that the mashiach would come before Pesach?

Why is it that the old age pension stands at just 1,686 NIS – just six shekels more than it was 10 years ago, while the salaries of Knesset members have increased by 159% during the same period?

“For crime after crime of Israel I will grant them no reprieve, because they sell the righteous for silver and the destitute for a pair of shoes” (Amos 2:6).

About the Author
Made aliyah from the UK in 1985, am a former president of the Israel Council of Reform Rabbis and am currently rabbi of Kehilat Yonatan in Hod Hasharon, Israel.
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