Israeli Theocracy

by J.A. Myerson

There’s this mind-blower from AFP:

A Jerusalem rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a dog it suspects is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who insulted the court’s judges 20 years ago, Ynet website reported Friday.

This is the logical result of trying to base a society in 2011 on the 4,000-year-old superstition of desert tribesmen. Let’s be clear about this: the stoning to death of a dog is a horrible crime, and if these were American football players, they’d be put in the slammer. But the culprits describe their their motives as based in and themselves as men of… faith! …and everyone’s ethical objections go straight out the window. The insular Orthodox communities (in America, too, not just Israel) are basically allowed to operate as tiny antonymous theocracies that the democratic civic authorities agree never to touch. That’s how you get abominations like this one, in New Square, NY.

David Twersky is the rebbe, guru and monarch of the nearly 7,000 residents of New Square, making every significant decision about their way of life. Like other Hasidic leaders, he is believed by many to be an intermediary with God, so his word is not to be questioned.

“The rebbe never says things that are wrong for the people,” resident Menasha Luftig, 33, said.

The May 22 attack on a New Square man who defied Twersky by not attending the village’s main synagogue has raised many questions outside New Square’s borders about the extent of the grand rebbe’s influence on his followers and whether Twersky is indirectly responsible for the shocking outbreak of violence.

Aron Rottenberg, 43, suffered third-degree burns on half his body after his family endured months of broken windows, threats and the expulsion of their daughter from a village school.

The good rebbe’s counterparts in Israel are a real drain on the state, because their lives are subsidized publicly and they don’t work (at anything other than devoting all their attention to those superstitions I mentioned earlier). And they’re training their kids in their radical fundamentalist religious zealotry. The crazy thing is how many congressmen display a greater allegiance to Israel than to the United States. Nonetheless, I think you’ll find that Jews are not the monotheists suspected of patriotism deficiency nor the ones ceaselessly investigated by demagogic congressmen.

The extent to which governments decline to prohibit or even object to this type of arrangement is the extent to which they are theocratic, and, by writ and statute, the United States is supposed to be hostile to theocracy.