The Foundation for Constitutional Democracy


The Secularization of the Religious Right

Filed under: Democratic MethodsJudaismDisengagement — eidelberg @ 11:42 pm Edit This

All fundamental issues ultimately involve the G-d question. This obviously applies to the issue of “disengagement,” a euphemism for Israel’s withdrawal from Jewish land, the expulsion of countless Jews from their homes, the destruction of their schools and synagogues, and the turning over of this land, with its farms and factories, to the genocidal enemies of the Jewish people.

All this was done under the Evacuation Law. This utterly immoral as well as senseless law manifests a simple fact: in Israel the laws of the State take precedence over the laws of God. What a travesty, for the Jews were the first people in history that refused to worship the State. Especially alarming is that the religious Right, represented by the leaders of the National Union (NU) and the National Religious Party (NRP), have become willing instruments of this betrayal of Judaism: they have been secularized.

The issue of the State versus the Torah is the ultimate issue of Israeli politics. The leaders of the religious Right lack the courage to face this issue. They cover their nakedness with the fig-leaf of democracy, which only means that their loyalty to democracy takes precedence over their loyalty to the Torah. They have indeed been secularized.

They are but one step behind the Left, so anxious to retreat from Jewish land and hand it over to the terror masters of the Middle East. Yes, the religious Right is only one step behind Kadima—the unelected party that now controls this ersatz democracy.

Kadima has no serious competitors. The Likud and the NU-NRP our powerless—and nothing renders them more powerless than this: they have sacrificed their intellects to democracy. The leaders of the NU-NRP do not even take their own religion seriously. They oppose further disengagements, but will readily accede to a national referendum on the issue. How pitiful these Jewish leaders appear vis-à-vis Abraham Lincoln, who said “No people have a right to do what is wrong”—a basic principle of Jewish law.

The sovereign People, like the sovereign State, is nothing but a form of idolatry launched by Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Spinoza—the legislators of modernity—to supplant the God of Israel.

How timid and trivial are the leaders of the religious Right. Muslims reject as insolent and shallow secularists who draw boundaries around God’s commandments and say to Him: “Up to this point, You are sovereign, but beyond these bounds begins the sovereignty of the state.” They must despise all the more so the parties of the religious Right.

Consider the NU-NRP party program. Fearful of losing the “Orange Vote,” the leaders of NU-NRP must apologize for failing to prevent the destruction of Gush Katif. Forgive us, they almost say, but we had to yield to the sovereign imperatives of the democratic state, the Evacuation Law. We commiserate with the dispossessed and deported Jews of Gush Katif, but obedience to the laws of the State take precedence over the laws of God.

The NU and the NRP do not seek forgiveness for having joined the Sharon government in the first place, propping up a government that ceased to be legitimate once it adopted Labor’s disengagement policy. Which means that the Evacuation Law was a travesty of democracy! Have the leaders of NU-NRP forgotten that an overwhelming majority of the public rejected Labor’s policy in the 2003 election?

Their succumbing to secularism is an old story. Like others, they use the Torah for the sake of politics instead of using politics for the sake of Torah. By so doing, they have undermined the State they so much exalt. Withdrawing from Jewish land plays into the Arab strategy of destroying Israel in stages.

I will go further. When the NU and the NRP genuflect to democracy, they relegate Judaism to the home and the synagogue—precisely the agenda of the Left: separation of religion and public law.

The separation of religion and public law has led, inevitably, to moral decay and the liberation of man’s acquisitive instincts. The shopping center has become the church of the secular democratic state. In this church everything and everyone is for sale—including rabbis! Is it any wonder that, in Israel—as witness Kadima—the corruption of men in high office is unequalled?

I have no time for politeness. Has democracy in Israel made youth modest and respectful of parents and teachers? Has democracy in Israel magnified wisdom and virtue in the chambers of government? Has democracy in Israel restored Jewish pride or advanced the safety of the Jewish people?

Is it not the height of dishonesty when the leaders of the religious Right excuse their moral cowardice in terms of democracy—of a democracy that does not even exist in Israel?