The fruits of a Jewish and Democratic state

Yossi Schwartz, ISL the section of the RCIT in Israel/Occupied Palestine, 04.10.23

From its birth the Zionist movement adopted Jewish Symbols. The flag of the State of Israel is based on the design of the Jewish prayer shawl (tallit), with a blue Shield of David (Magen David). The official emblem of the State of Israel is a candelabrum (menorah), whose shape is said to be derived from the seven-branched moriah, a plant known since antiquity.

These symbols were necessary for the Zionist movement to justify their colonization of Palestine. The justification has been the Jews in exile returning to their ancient land that was waiting for them to return (supposedly empty). There is no need for DNA tests to know that the modern Ashkenazi Jews are not the same people as the ancient Jews. The Modern Jews are of capitalist society while the ancient Jews were tribes and beginning of a slave society. Nevertheless, gene tests show that two fifths of Ashkenazi Jews are descended from four women who lived in Europe a thousand years ago.

“The team, led by doctoral student, Doron Behar, and his supervisor, Professor Karl Skorecki of the Technion’s medical faculty and Rambam Medical Centre in Haifa, published their findings online ahead of print publication in the American Journal of Human Genetics on 11 January ( The article will appear in print in the March edition.

Professor Skorecki, a nephrologist who also conducts genetic research, is known for his 1997 discovery of DNA marker evidence showing that most modern-day Jewish men of the paternally inherited priestly caste (the Kohanim) are descendants of a single common male ancestor.

The “four founding mothers,” he added, “are from lineages that originated long before the launching of the Jewish people some 3400 years ago. They probably came from a large Middle Eastern gene pool.” [1]

It has been necessary for the European settler colonialists to give the Jewish religious institutions a state status to justify their colonization of Palestine. For these reasons the first Prime Minister of the Zionist state Ben Gurion, a secular Jew, gave the Rabbinical Authorities religious jurisdiction over some legal matters.

Jewish law has formal jurisdiction over the “personal law” of Jewish citizens of the state – law pertaining to marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc. This is a residue of the Ottoman millet system that was kept in place by the British and inherited by the State of Israel. After 1948, Jewish religious courts were incorporated into the state.

Traditional Jewish norms have exerted a particular influence on the legislation of spheres of life with peculiar cultural resonance such as the legal definition of Jewish identity and the consumption of pork. The Rabbinical Authorities decide “Who is a Jew” (which had practical significance especially with regard to qualification for immigration to Israel under the Law of Return). For example, the decision of the court in the 1962 Brother Daniel case (which ruled that a Carmelite Friar who had been born a Jew and still considered himself Jewish did not qualify for immigration under the Law of Return) in the context of Israeli politics, Zionist culture and Jewish law, shows that Zionism considers Jewishness as an ethnic and religious affair, and not a cultural/’catholic’(universal) one.

Ben Gurion also released the young man studying in Yeshiva from military service that irritates the secular Zionists of today. The Zionists support Israel as a Jewish and democratic state. However, these secular Jews understand Jewish and democratic as democracy for the Jews while the religious Jews understand it as Jewish religious state.

As the occupation and the oppression of the Palestinians grew and so did the resistance of the Palestinians, more and more Jews in Israel turned to the right and to religion. The Jewish religious organizations feel today strong enough to force a religious state.

Yom Kippur, the most solemn and sacred date on the Jewish calendar, is usually a day of unity for Jewish Israelis. Highways empty, shops close and transport networks shut down, as nonobservant Jews show respect to the devout by avoiding work and driving.

But that social cohesion collapsed this year. Confrontations broke out on the streets of Tel Aviv as religious Jews tried to organize Yom Kippur prayers in which men and women were encouraged to pray separately — angering residents of the mainly secular city. [2]

On October 1st Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef said: “Jews who eat unkosher food are “impaired,” and therefore it is “difficult for them to comprehend things.” The rabbi added that, “I observe everything happening within the secular community. driven by the desires of this world.”

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid commented that Yosef has misrepresented his role, saying, “he is not the Chief Rabbi of Israel but rather the rabbi of a vocal minority that condemns millions of Jews who serve in the army, risk their lives, work, and support this nation. In one aspect, he is correct – they felt somewhat foolish tonight when they realized they are the ones funding his salary.” [3]

No doubt, mass prayer in public places rather than in the synagogues is shoving religion down the throats of the secular. Most secular Zionists support the concept of Jewish and democratic state and by doing so for racist feelings against the Palestinians are bringing on themselves a Jewish state.

To stop this process, it is necessary to break with Zionism and to join the struggle of the Palestinian national liberation struggle.

When approaching the block of the two states in the mass movement against the government, we tell the people in this block: Brothers and sisters it is good you protest against the repression of the Palestinians. However Arab Palestinian and Israeli Jews will live in peace only with the return of the Palestinian refugees and this will happen only under socialist democratic state from the river to the sea.

No to religious coercion!

For the right of return of the Palestinian refugees!

For one red democratic state!





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