Goodness, is this Israel or Iran?

DAN-CHYI CHUA
Oct 21, 2010
*Special to asia!

So much for being the Middle East's only democracy. Pronouncements coming from Israel's political and religious leaders are starting to sound like they are being issued from Tehran, rather than from Jerusalem.

Times like these, it feels like the lunatics have taken over the asylum in Israel, or the leadership anyway.

The pronouncements coming from the political and religious leaders are starting to sound like they are being issued from Tehran, rather than from Jerusalem.

In his regular sabbath address last weekend, one of the country's top rabbis Ovadia Yosef specified what non-Jews should do on the Jewish day of rest.

“Goyims were born only to serve us. Without that, they have no place in the world – only to serve the People of Israel.”

This is the same man who said Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas should perish together with the other enemies of Israel.

"May God strike them down with the plague along with all the nasty Palestinians who persecute Israel," he added. ( See “What four dead Jews and one rabbi say about Israeli-Palestinian peace”)

This seems remarkably similar to the anti-infidel, anti-Israel rhetoric of the Iranian ayatollah, especially considering that Ovadia Yosef is the spiritual leader of Israel's right-wing Shas Party, a key member of the current coalition government.

If that isn't enough, today, another rabbi was reportedly as saying that Israeli soldiers  are not required by Jewish law to protect the lives of civilians when they are under attack.

The same rabbi had caused an outcry with a book he published which described circumstances in which it was alright to kill a non-Jew.

Lest you think the lunacy is only happening among the religious, here is something from the Israeli parliament.

 

 

40 Excuse me, what does this flag stand for?

 

Members of the Knesset are talking about banning Arab residents from working as guides for visiting tour groups. They are concerned that they will not have an “institutional loyalty” to Israel and present “anti-Israeli views”.

This is presumably the same “institutional loyalty” the parliament is trying to extract from new migrants in another law they are trying to pass, requiring them to take an oath of loyalty to the “Jewish and democratic” state.

“Democratic” in Israel apparently does not include the freedom of speech or expression, at least not for its Arab citizens.

There will be no talk about the occupation of Palestinian lands under Israel.

There will be no talk about the occupation of Palestinian lands under Israel. Or their equally-legitimate claim to the holy city of Jerusalem.

Don't even think about criticising either Israel's handling of the Free Gaza flotilla in May. (The latter practically caused an Israeli-Arab minister to lose her citizenship, if the Interior Minister had his way.)

But hey, if you are a Jewish rabbi shooting off xenophobic, hate-mongering nonsense, that's alright?

Just as silence implies complicity, does the failure to censure on the part of the Israeli government indicate tacit agreement?

If so, does this government envision new migrants pledging their loyalty to this brand of state-sanctioned religious and racial supremacy?

Apparently they do.

dan-chyi chua

Dan-Chyi Chua was a broadcast journalist, before forsaking Goggle Box Glitz for the Open Road. A three-year foray led her through the Middle East, China, SE Asia, Latin America and Cuba, and she's now grounded herself as a writer for theasiamag.com, content with spending her days in Jerusalem.

Contact Dan-Chyi