+972 Magazine's Stories of the Week

Directly In Your Inbox

Analysis News
Visit our Hebrew site, "Local Call" , in partnership with Just Vision.

Settler leader: Democracy must be dismantled

Haaretz reports that settler leader Benni Katzover calls for dismantling democracy and “bowing to Judaism,” and the leader of the right-wing coalition aids “price tag” activists. Can we discuss the treason of the right yet?

The veteran settler leader, Benni Katzover, was caught (Hebrew) telling some meshigene Chabad paper, “Beit Mashiach”, that “I would say that today, Israeli democracy has one central mission, and that is to disappear. Israeli democracy has finished its historical role, and it must be dismantled and bow before Judaism. All the events nowadays are leading to the realization that there is no other way except putting the Jewish issue before any other issue, and that is the answer to all the situation and the threats.”

Referring to the struggle against gender exclusion, Katzover sailed on the seas of conspiracy, saying, “The leftist activists are cooking timed campaigns against anything that smells of holiness, and they have two goals: One is political – undermining the government and gathering bonuses in public opinion, and the other is to act against all the foundations of Jewish faith.” It’s an interesting look into a leading settler’s world: On the one hand, gender exclusion is “holiness”; On the other, leftists are Erev Rav – Amalekites who pretend to be, or believe themselves to be, Jews, who are seen as such, and yet whose whole existence is undermining “anything that smells of holiness.” Katzover, when asked for comment by Haaretz, confirmed his comments.

Benni Katzover (R) with Yair Lapid on a tour of the West Bank (photo: Yesha Council)

Katzover gains a point for no longer pretending, as most settler leaders still do, that he values democracy. Religious Zionism, as that pig who shows his cloven hoofs so that people will mistake it for a kosher animal, always claimed to support “Jewish democracy.” As anyone who actually studied in that world knows, democracy is described there as a Greek construct, alien to Judaism. When democracy is spoken of, the rabbis kept mentioning the biblical injunction “thou shall not follow a multitude to do evil.” It would be interesting to know how many settler leaders think like Katzover, but do not, as yet, dare say so openly.

This isn’t the only time Katzover was mentioned in the news lately. On Friday, Shahar Ginossar – who is showing himself to be one of the bravest reporters around – demonstrated in “7 Yamim”, Yediot’s weekend supplement, that Katzover, together with Gershon Messica, inspire the “price tag” campaign. The two of them discussed the attacks on the IDF and random Palestinians openly on some internal settlements publications, arguing that without “price tag” attacks, the settlers cannot prevent the removal of illegal outposts. The local council of Shomron, led in the past by Katsover and now by Messica, transferred funds – government funds – to finance what could have led to “price tag” attacks. Messica and Katsover also refrained, time and time again, from denouncing those attacks.

You didn’t have to be a strategic genius to believe that the “price tag” activists, breathlessly described by the media as anarchists over whom the settlement establishment has no control, are in fact Yesha Council of settlement’s special forces. After all, the weapon the Council used to threaten Israelis with for the past 30 years was the “extremists” over which it ostensibly “had no control.” Well, it seems at least some of its members did have control over them.

Will the Yesha Council cast out Katzover and Messica? That’s a funny one. Its disavowal of “price tag” attacks is only meant to preserve its normal position as the political arm of Jewish terrorism. It’s time to remind people that the legendary Yesha leader, Ze’ev “Zambish” Hever, is a convicted terrorist. In the early 1980s, he tried to blow up a Palestinian activist, Dr. Ahmed Natsha. The device didn’t go off, and due to “health concerns,” Hever – then called Friedman – got off with just 11 months in prison. Hever’s terrorist past didn’t harm him any, and that’s an understatement. At the time, of course, the leadership of Gush Emunim spoke of “extremists” just as it does now, while trying to conceal the metaphoric hissing fuse coming out of its pocket.

Yesha Council’s quiet support of Jewish terrorism is not limited to attacks on Palestinians. In January 1996, two months after the Rabin assassination, a yarmulka-wearing young man, Ohad Bart, tried to run Meretz minister Yossi Sarid’s car off the road. He was then a Bnei Akiva instructor. He kept his status – which he would have lost had he been caught eating in a non-kosher restaurant – and ten years later, in 2006, he was a  Yesha Council  functionary and a Knesset candidate on behalf of Ha’Ichud Ha’Leumi, a settler party.

We’re not finished yet. Katzover and Messica, along with their local council, may have inspired and supported “price tag” attacks, but today we learned (Hebrew) that the pogromchiks had a very prominent collaborator: MK Ze’ev Elkin, the chairman of the coalition. He does not deny passing information to “price tag” people telling them where the army was not planning to act, enabling them to deploy their forces in a more accurate manner.

Now, Elkin is obviously not a spy, just as the “price tag” people who gathered information on the army’s activities aren’t. The question whether Elkin is a traitor, however – in the moral sense of the word, not, naturally, the legal one – is more complicated. Elkin took an oath to maintain “loyalty to the State of Israel and to faithfully execute [his] calling in the Knesset.” When he gave information to the “price tag” people, which was supposed to derail military activity ordered by the lawful government, did he commit treason, or not? Let’s just say that Elkin is lucky to be a Jew and not an Arab; Otherwise the Knesset would already be discussing the removal of his immunity. As he is a Jew, it’ll be a surprise if even the Ethics Committee bothers itself with his perfidy.

So: We have a senior Yesha Council operative saying Jewish democracy must be dismantled or killed, while conspiring with another to support “price tag” attacks – aided and abetted by the leader of the right-wing coalition. Isn’t it time we asked some hard questions about the loyalty of the right, particularly the religious right, to Israeli democracy?

Before you go...

A lot of work goes into creating articles like the one you just read. And while we don’t do this for the money, even our model of non-profit, independent journalism has bills to pay.

+972 Magazine is owned by our bloggers and journalists, who are driven by passion and dedication to the causes we cover. But we still need to pay for editing, photography, translation, web design and servers, legal services, and more.

As an independent journalism outlet we aren’t beholden to any outside interests. In order to safeguard that independence voice, we are proud to count you, our readers, as our most important supporters. If each of our readers becomes a supporter of our work, +972 Magazine will remain a strong, independent, and sustainable force helping drive the discourse on Israel/Palestine in the right direction.

Support independent journalism in Israel/Palestine Donate to +972 Magazine today
View article: AAA
Share article
Print article

    * Required


    1. aristeides

      Seems to me that this guy is in violation of that new law about denying Israel as a “Jewish and democratic state.” Do you suppose the police will call him in for an interview?

      Reply to Comment
    2. Carl

      Well the good news is that if Israel follows us (UK) in voting patterns, you’ll probably have less people voting than running for election: that should keep him out for a bit.
      And I suppose he’s is being honest. It’s a while since anyone has used the ‘a vote for me will be the last time you need to vote’ argument, but shit! it’s got some ugly precedents. If we all chipped in for a pair of Ray-Bans for him do you think he finally feel at home in the West Bank and wouldn’t fell the need devote so much of his time to being such an awful shit?

      Reply to Comment
    3. @Carl – a bit less profanity would be great. I advise you to read our comment guidelines in the About page.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Carl

      Ami, if it’s any consolation, my everyday language has a mean content of 72% obscenities. I’m banned from all the local shops and can only do on-line shopping these days. And even then I can only buy products which sound like swear words. Really hit my diet it has.
      By which I mean, apologies: shall adjust my language in future.

      Reply to Comment
    5. annie

      out of the ballpark yossi. you’re a great reporter.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Danny

      I wonder what Katsover intends to replace Israeli democracy with. I suppose he and his ilk are pining for a king (the quintessential Jewish hero is, after all, king David). The question arises: How would such a king be chosen? Would he be elected? Probably not, since that is an element of the hated democracy. Then who will get to be Katsover’s king?

      Reply to Comment
    7. ginger

      “price tag” activists…are…Yesha Council of settlement’s special forces.

      “price tag” activists, breathlessly described by the media as anarchists over whom the settlement establishment has no control, are in fact Yesha Council of settlement’s special forces.

      brilliant, Yossi! Spot on

      Reply to Comment
    8. Philos

      It has always infuriated me that threats about “civil war” in Israel have always come from Yesha and the Right yet they are never, ever, called traitors for such incendiary speech!

      @ Danny, I totally agree. I’d love to read a manifesto on what they intend to replace democracy. Perhaps, a Guardian’s Council presided over by the Supreme Rabbi?

      Reply to Comment
    9. aristeides

      The Sanhedrin, headed by the High Priest

      Reply to Comment
    10. John Yorke

      In the final analysis, it’s not the Katzovers of this world that we have to worry about.
      It’s everyone else, the silent majority that soldiers on in the hope that it will all come right in the end and that present difficulties can be resolved only in the fullness of time.
      But do any of us have the faintest idea on how to go about this type of resolution?
      Make no mistake; this is a tough nut to crack and, as days, weeks, years pass with no cracking in evidence, the pressure needed to perform that task grows ever greater and more difficult to apply.

      How much time is there left to mull over this matter and reach a nice fluffy solution, one all tied up in a pretty pink bow? Not much, it would seem. This has become a very old conflict, its longevity vouched safe by decades of violence and alarms; nothing is able to stand against it for very long.

      So now, the need is to unleash against this undying monster one that is of even more monstrous proportions, something that will grapple with it until a decision is reached and a kind of victory has been achieved.

      What is really required here is a nutcracker of quite extraordinary force, one that can exert increasing pressure until something definitely has got to give. So far, we’ve had mostly containment procedures being used to address the problem and these only seem to have made the situation that much worse; they’ve been nowhere near powerful enough to reach the cracking point – and so the saga continues.

      One nutcracker, top of the range, guaranteed to do the job and even tidy up some of the mess that’s left behind afterwards.


      I did mention that it’s a very tough nut to crack, didn’t I?

      Reply to Comment
    11. Philos

      If by nutcracker, John Yorke, you mean civil war I’m all in favour. It’s about damn time we finished what Ben Gurion didn’t have the cajones to….

      Reply to Comment
    12. Kibbutznik

      “If by nutcracker, John Yorke, you mean civil war I’m all in favour. It’s about damn time we finished what Ben Gurion didn’t have the cajones to….”

      No Philos , no !!
      Ben Gurion did have the cajones to , it was Begin that backed down after the Altalena Affair, ” Begin later said, “My greatest accomplishment was not retaliating and causing civil war”. ”
      Civil war is not the answer , the answer is to fight them with the tools that they reject ie Democracy .
      Next elections make sure you get as many like minded individuals to vote against them , the ballot box is the answer Philos not civil war .

      Reply to Comment
    13. AYLA

      As per usual, excellent, Yossi; thank you.
      One thing that gives me a bit of hope is knowing a handful of people living in settlements, religious people, who are as outraged by this (etc.) as we are, if not more, since it falsely represents them.
      not supporting their choice to live in a settlement. Not saying there’s no hypocrisy in their supporting so-called democracy and doing so (though, we’d all be hard-pressed not to find hypocrisy in our lives); just saying.

      Reply to Comment
    14. AYLA

      @Kibbutznik–thank you. I just figured Philos was digging his own grave there; there’s a commenting rule against what he’s doing, especially on the site of a reporter who is being wrongly interrogated by the Israeli police for supposedly inciting violence, when he, for one, never has.

      Reply to Comment
    15. Philos

      For the record Yossi G has never incited myself or anyone that I know of to violence. Kibbutznik you’re are woefully naive if you think the ballot box is the answer. Did you vote for Kadima? How many well intentioned people do you know voted for that party of crooks, charlatans and fascists? You want odds on who will be the next PM? Liberman. He’s outfoxed Netenyahu on several issues (discrimination against women, free day care, etc) and maintained his right-wing credentials by consistently claiming that the government’s solutions aid the average Israelis most hated scapegoats: Haradim and Palestinians.
      If there is any truth to the fact that the Right has a score to settle and that Ben Gurion was wrong to restrain a young Yitzhak Rabin you only have to walk along the promenade in Tel Aviv and see the monument to the brave Altalena Affair (read the inscription on it) and the efforts of the current government to raise the wreck from the depths. You have government members actively abetting paramilitary forces in opposition to government policy!
      By all the Gods above and below how can you not see the writing on the wall? These people have been threatening us with violence since the 80s, they murdered Rabin and their rabbis walk off scott free! They’re polluting the IDF with their theocratic racist supremacy and they actively say their goal is to take over institutions of state by having religious Zionist settlers enter the military, the police, the civil service and the diplomatic corps!!! Wake up!

      Reply to Comment
    16. Philos

      Jeez, given the amount of times some Yesha Spokesman has said this and that action will certainly lead to civil war or that civil war is the inevitable result of this and that government policy, why the hell am I accused of inciting violence??? These guys eat lunch with the PM and several PMs of this country for years!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    17. Mitchell Cohen

      Philos, you are inciting violence. You are just the opposite side of the coin. Mazal Tov [rolls eyes].

      Reply to Comment
    18. Kibbutznik

      hate to say I told you so Mitchell but …
      BTW he is only writing what many of the young are voicing right now .

      what are we going to do ????

      Reply to Comment
    19. Mitchell Cohen

      I guess what you said, Kibbutznik. We are all going to vote in the next election and may the best man or woman and party win. That’s how democracy works, right? And, at the same time, inciters from BOTH directions need to be monitored. Have you come up with any other suggestions, since our last chat a few days ago?

      Reply to Comment
    20. Philos

      Monitored Mitchell Cohen? I have been threatened via my FB by right-wing nutjobs for participating in left-wing pages on FB. There is no monitoring of these people. They are a disciplined force of fascists waiting to take over the state and being abetted by the likes of Elkin, Rotem and Liberman (and the cowardly lion, Benjamin Netenyahu). We didn’t start this fight. We didn’t want this fight. We never threw a hand grenade into a Rightest march or murdered a Prime Minister or tried to blow up a professor. All the violence, all the incitement and all the hate comes from the Right, and I am tired of it. I am tired of being a wimpering Israeli friar paying taxes and doing miliuim for people who despise Israel as I know it. I say the next time Yesha spokesperson or some religions-natioalism rabbi threatens “civil war”; we, the silent majority of Israelis, answer back, “bring it on”
      You don’t see anybody from the center or the left saying or doing the incendiary and divisive things that the Right in this country perpetuates. You guys want to turn this country into a kind of Columbia crossed with Lebanon.

      Reply to Comment
    21. Kibbutznik

      ” Have you come up with any other suggestions, since our last chat a few days ago? ”

      Not really , doing the typical Kibbutz thing and having a meeting to discuss it soon .
      In the mean time talking to those that are angry and mainly lisining and repeating to them what I wrote above.

      Reply to Comment
    22. Mitchell Cohen

      @Philos, there are no shortage of quotes of incitement coming from very respectable secular/left figures in Israel (professors, politicians, artists, etc.) and I will be glad to provide them at your request. That being said, two wrongs don’t make a right. You sound like a secular/leftist version of a Kahanist (i.e. substitute the word “Arab” for “religious/right-wing” and the government which is not in MY image needs to be brought down by any means necessary). You are in favor of democracy running it’s course and people working their way up (in the army, the government, and other institutions of the state) as long as they share your views. I can only think of one word to describe this and it begins with a capital H….

      Reply to Comment
    23. AYLA

      appropos of nothing (sorry Yossi): what happened to Ben Israel?

      Reply to Comment
    24. Lauren

      What do Rick Santorum, Iran and Israeli settlers have in commom? They all demand their religions run the state. It doesn’t matter if it’s Christian, Jewish or Muslim….. just another form of oppressive control over the masses.
      The ultra-religous insist that others fall in line with their interpetation of G-d’s words. Hard core Religion will never be considered democratic.
      Man’s interpetation of the Holy Books through extremists only leads to bloodshed.

      Reply to Comment
    25. John Yorke

      @Philos. No, I do not mean this ‘nutcracker’ to take on any aspect of a civil war. Except that the ‘war’ would mostly be an internal one, fought not so much against an external foe but rather with the real enemy that exists deep inside each of us.

      You see, it’s always the same.
      There is no focus on anything that will get the job done. Instead, tilting at windmills on the left and boxing with shadows on the right seems to be the main preoccupations of both extremes. As for the centre, that’s so confused that it doesn’t know what to do except keep its head down and hope that 2012 will be a little better than 2011.

      We are all men and women, are we not? Homo and Femina Sapiens. That means we are supposed to be able to figure a way out of these situations, not get drawn deeper into them. More than three generations have come and gone and still there is no light at the end of the tunnel, no guiding star to indicate our exit from a position increasingly beset by dangers old and new.

      But if no exit can be found, if there is no guiding star to follow, our only course must be to turn and face the monster we have created, to seek out whatever weakness hides within its hideous form.
      And it must have one; monsters always do. The task is to find it and then strike with all the force we possess. Only in this manner can such a creature be overcome, a beast that, when all is revealed, will be seen to bear more than striking resemblance to each and every one of us.

      And so, just how does one go about defeating oneself?
      Fortunately, this can be done.
      But only when that vital weak spot is discovered.


      Reply to Comment
    26. In a democracy you can call for the end of democracy. That’s not treason. Benni Katzover has, however, called for the abrogation of your Declaration. Which means you then no longer have a common document for free Jewish ingress. Just Torah. God ever works. He seems to be implying that the Declaration was a convient tool God no longer needs. I have yet to understand why God needs any tools at all.
      Take a look at John Yorke’s site. He has a solution! An I think I’m mentally marginal….

      Reply to Comment
    27. sh

      The struggle should be focused on ending the occupation. Our tolerant attitude to the evils that facilitated it will have to come after that. Meanwhile it’s as well to remember that the governments that decided upon and implemented all our invasions and occupations so far, were not religious.

      Reply to Comment
    28. Kibbutznik

      ” …. were not religious ”

      but Gush Emunim were sh :
      ” At the same time, the messianic overtones of this period led many within the national religious world to dream of settling all of Judea and Samaria, the biblical heartland. ”
      do you think we would be in the same situation that we find ourselves today had there been no Gush Emunim ?

      Reply to Comment
    29. Philos

      Nice dodge of the history Mitchell Cohen. Sorry the historical record speaks for itself. Consistent violent activities and incitement to violence has been coming from the national-religious and Rightist camp in Israel since the 1980s. It is well documented.
      “With blood and fire” I think was the chant leading up to the murder of PM Yithzak Rabin. Tell me Mitchell, where are the Leftist Jack Teital’s, Yigal Amir’s and “hilltop youth”?

      Reply to Comment
    30. Mikesailor

      When there is no common ethic within a society, the center will not hold. The only ‘glue’ binding Israeli Jews together has been the ‘fact’ of their ‘Jewishness’, nothing more. And fear of the ‘other’ has held it together this long. When the fear of Arabs (military) is lessened, then fear of the ‘other’ within your society increases. After Oslo, when the fear of Palestinians decreased, there was a marked increase in the divisions within Israeli society, culminating in the assassination of Rabin. Once Sharon came into power, a man with no realistic vision except ‘Juden uber alles’, the ensuing tensions were subjugated for a while because the fear levels of the Arab ‘other’ increased, especially with the second intifada. Now, you are still attempting to find ‘glue’ to hold the country together yet can witness it falling apart. The government is once again trying to divert attention by focusing on Iran, Gaza, the PA etc., all the foreign enemies so successfully used in the past. Of course, now added to the mix are ‘leftists’ and refugees, with the sometime addition of ‘all those who don’t think like “us”. Can Israel survive when they cannot use fear of the foreign ‘other’ to foster a semblance of political cohesiveness? Or must there always be an enemy,real or perceived,foreign or domestic? Using ‘Jewishness’ as your glue doesn’t work in the long run, it would be the same as using Islam, or Christianity, or claiming special dominance due to the color of your skin. For the diversity within all of these groups militates against them ever forging a common vision.

      Reply to Comment
    31. Kibbutznik

      @ Philos
      Mitchell knows , that ” last chat ” he and I had was here :
      and it was “in blood and fire we shall do away with Rabin”, plus “he’s a traitor!” and “death to Rabin”. With many demonstrators carrying signs depicting Rabin wearing a kafiah and in S.S. uniform.
      and who can ever forget Bibi’s smirk from the speakers’ balcony ?

      Reply to Comment
    32. Mitchell Cohen

      @Philos, even if the right had a monopoly on incitement, which they don’t – [Ze’ev Sternhill, (Davar, April 4, 1988): “Only those ready to storm Ofra with tanks will stem the fascist tide, which threatens to engulf Israel’s democracy.” and udd Ne’eman (Ma’ariv, July 7, 2011): “The desirable thing here is that there be a civil war between Left and Right – a war between the settlers and leftists. The settlers might well win, because a majority of public opinion and the government support them, and then this will become a fascist state… Civil war is the way to solve the problem we face. We’ve tried all other means and none worked… long live death.” And there are more where that came from.] what is your solution Philos? What plan do you have to keep us “right-wingers/religious” in “our place”?

      Reply to Comment
    33. Mitchell Cohen

      Kibbutznik, if what Sefi predicts actually happens, then I say la’briot. That is how democracy works. I didn’t do cartwheels when Barak won in ’99, but I accepted is as the outcome of a democratic election and I will do the same if Labor (or Meretz for that matter) wins the next one. Philos sounds like he is ready to start randomly firing into a settlement the way he is talking though and, quite frankly, that scares me as I have kids who I love no less than you love yours.

      Reply to Comment
    34. Philos

      Oh Mitchell, the hysteria, the hysteria. I’m not about to go into a settlement and start shooting randomly. After all, I’m not a settler and will not behave like one either. 😛
      But when you “true sons of Israel” think you’re strong enough to overthrow the state know that there will be Israelis who will not flee but stand and confront you. There will be no repeat of 1932 here. I, and many others besides, will not see the honour of the Jewish people besmirched by the vile supremacist ideology of Yesha and the decedents of the Stern Gang.

      Reply to Comment
    35. Mitchell Cohen

      Hey Philos, here’s one for you. If you don’t like the make up of the government (which was democratically elected) and the fact that the right and religious are working their way up the ranks by hard work and determination and “taking over the army and other institutions”, then follow Kibbutznik’s advise. Convince like-minded individuals to stay in Israel (rather than make yerida) to get out and vote in the next elections (rather than sit them out) and to send their kids to serve in the elite units and enroll in officer’s courses in the IDF and go to university to learn to be diplomats, police officers, civil servants, etc. Otherwise, my advise to those who don’t do any of the above, yet whine about how the “religious are taking over” is to take a number and wait on line. The line to kiss my bottom side forms here.

      Reply to Comment
    36. Cohen,
      When rights are first voice they are often denied by a majority. Perhaps you want a fully soverign Knesset. Democracy has come to mean more than that. The people are never all inclusive. Jews know that well. Would you become as your oppressors of millenia? The fight in Israel is over a constitution, not democracy.
      Kibbutznik (I hope you are):
      “what are we going to do ????”
      –ask that question. Find answers among yoursleves. Not from outsiders. From your people. Because of questions as yours I do not lose hope.

      Reply to Comment
    37. Mitchell Cohen

      I will be the last one to say that our government structure is perfect. It is FAR from it. There are no shortage of things I would change, including but not limited to more regional representation, eliminating the wheeling and dealing behind closed doors to form coalitions, a true system of checks and balances, judges for the Supreme court need to be appointed/approved from an outside, objective, and impartial party, and, yes, we do need a constitution. However, you can’t have your cake and eat it. Individuals like Philos are lamenting that the religious are “taking over the IDF” when they got there by honest hard work. I’m sorry, but I have very low tolerance for that kind of baloney. It eeringly reminds me of how, in America, the Jews are accused of being overly represented in different fields. Guess what? They got there by honest, hard work, and determination as well, and whoever doesn’t like it needs to get a life!!!!

      Reply to Comment
    38. Kibbutznik

      ” Kibbutznik (I hope you are):
      “what are we going to do ????”
      –ask that question. Find answers among yoursleves. Not from outsiders. From your people. Because of questions as yours I do not lose hope.”

      Oh I am Greg, generations already , of the HaShomer HaTzair variety .
      We are asking ourselves and we are lisining to our young people many who are talking just like Philos.
      And let me make one thing very clear, like Mitchell we older and wiser members want no civil war BUT should our worst nightmare ever happen we will stand shoulder to shoulder with Philos and with those like minded like him .

      Reply to Comment
    39. Philos

      Mitchell, I’ve worked vigourously on the statistics about national-religious in the army and it’s a load of balooney fueled by the IDF command (for God knows what reason) and the media. For example, if a settlement school send 80% of its boys to combat units out of a graduating class of 200 that’s 160 combat soldiers (presuming they all make it through basic training of course). A school in TA which sends about 40% of its boys to combat units will provide anywhere from 200 to 300 troops depending on size. The fact is that the cities of Israel supply the overwhelming supply of soldiers in this country thanks to sheer demographics. The fact is, as has been reported in Maarchot, national-religious soldiers make up 10% of the entire IDF demographic.
      My problem isn’t with meritocracy. My problem is with the expressed agenda of “infiltration” into institutions of state in order to subvert the state at a later stage. The rabbis who lead hesder yeshivot inculcate loyalty to them first and the state second among many of their students (not all of course). As such the fact that even though 10% of all IDF soldiers are national-reglious but 30% of all combat officers are national-religious makes me suspect that it is in large part an ideological struggle over the identity of the IDF. I question the loyalty of all national-relgious settlers to Israeli democracy and I think rightly so.
      The biggest problem with the settlement movement is that your ideology makes you believe you have the god-given right to tell soldiers to be insubordinate, to infiltrate the state with sympathizers and that all of secular Israelis are stupid donkeys with whom you can do whatever you want. And that’s leaving behind your visceral racism and anti-gentilism. Like true fascists democracy suits you when it suits you, and when it doesn’t you claim that the state is ruled by mysterious cabals of left-wing elites. Fascism will fail. You’ll see.

      Reply to Comment
    40. Mitchell Cohen

      “Mitchell, I’ve worked vigourously on the statistics about national-religious in the army and it’s a load of balooney fueled by the IDF command (for God knows what reason) and the media.” [End of Philos] Philos, YOU are the one ranting about the religious “infiltrating the army”, so you kind of backed yourself into a corner.
      “As such the fact that even though 10% of all IDF soldiers are national-reglious but 30% of all combat officers are national-religious makes me suspect that it is in large part an ideological struggle over the identity of the IDF.” [End of Philos] Guess what. I am suspect of the homogeneity of the Supreme Court (and not in favor of the religious or right of center).
      “The biggest problem with the settlement movement is that your ideology makes you believe you have the god-given right to tell soldiers to be insubordinate, to infiltrate the state with sympathizers and that all of secular Israelis are stupid donkeys with whom you can do whatever you want. And that’s leaving behind your visceral racism and anti-gentilism. Like true fascists democracy suits you when it suits you, and when it doesn’t you claim that the state is ruled by mysterious cabals of left-wing elites. Fascism will fail. You’ll see.” [End of Philos] Philos, you don’t know me, my community, or how most settlers feel, so cut the [self-censored]. YOU are the one who is all for democracy if it suits you and, if not, YOU and the rest of the “beautiful people” know what the rest of the country really wants/needs. Please spare me the self-righteousness. Besides, I remember you saying you were leaving and not coming back (in more than one post). So, let those of us staying here decide (democratically) what is good for us.

      Reply to Comment
    41. Philos

      Ha! Proof in the pudding I dare say Mr. Cohen. Thanks for the link Kibbutznik. And even if I do leave I’ll be back in no time when everyone is ready for some civil arm wrestling over the fate of Israel.

      Reply to Comment
    42. Kibbutznik

      ” Thanks for the link Kibbutznik ”

      you are welcome bro
      after Rabin’s assassination I was sure we were headed towards civil war and I sounded much like you do today , well we got over that and we will get over this to.
      “Fascism will fail. You’ll see”
      Amen .

      Reply to Comment
    43. Mitchell Cohen

      Kibbutznik, my thoughts are this:

      Amihy Zoaretz and all those involved to be brought to justice – YES!!!!

      A witch hunt of all national religious and/or residents of Judea and Samaria in the IDF – NO!!!!

      Philos, if in America after seeing a black robber being escorted to jail, I said “Ha! Proof in the pudding”, what would you call that? I would RIGHTLY call it RACISM.

      Reply to Comment
    44. Mitchell Cohen

      PS My great grandparents did not flee Poland and Russia because of Christian or Muslim extremism, but because of Communism. Yes, Fascism will fail, but so will a Hebrew speaking version of the KGB.

      Reply to Comment
    45. Philos

      If you saw a black robber who was sentenced to 15-years incarceration (the maximum in most states) whereas whites are incarcerated for a few years to say “Proof in the pudding (that the US judicial system is institutionally racist)” then I’d agree with you and not call you racist. You see the proof in the pudding is about the context of said pudding 🙂

      Reply to Comment
    46. Mitchell Cohen

      Philos, how ’bout this then: if you saw a terrorist plot foiled, it was advertised in the paper that they were Muslim extremists and said “Ha! Proof in the pudding”, would you be called a racist by most sensible people? It’s really not so hard to understand the comparison, REALLY….

      Reply to Comment
    47. Click here to load previous comments