Fundamentalist Farce -- this time in Israel: These are my quickly formulated thoughts about the Israeli woman who wanted to sit in the front of the bus and was spat upon by an Israeli ultra orthodox sect and the prospect of the ultra orthodox in Israel gaining power. I wrote Haaretz (Israeli newspaper) and know I am not alone among the secular of Israel AND most importantly many if not most Jews in the US who support the Jewish state. I stated the following:
I am a Jewish American and a strong supporter of Israel even though I am left of center. I stand alone often in my views and written opinions about Israel on that part of the political spectrum. My most important view is church/state separation and the issue I care most about is religious extremism world wide. I can tell you my support IF the ultra orthodox extremists of Israel go the way of world-wide Islamic fundamentalists the Jewish state WILL lose my support and that of many others in the US and elsewhere.
Israel for some is on difficult ground regarding what some think about its actions surrounding the Palestinian situation. So far my main love for Israel is the fact (a) it is a Jewish state for ALL Jews and (b) it is generally secular in the mainstream of its religious and political practice with a small minority of irrational religious fanatics.
If these religious fundamentalist fanatics gain power and Israel goes the way of Islamic fundamentalism and even Christian fundamentalism I will be through supporting Israel. I will withdraw my support of Israel if the religiously fanatic gain power when my main argument for Israel is that it is a secular, democratic, and an advanced state. I as a Jew am so proud of what Israel has accomplished in the face of annihilation from its enemies that surround it and because of the our unique existentially threatening history during the Holocaust.
Think twice though, my Israeli brethren, of letting backward reactionaries rule. Be smart and reject the power of ultra orthodox religious adherents and reject them en masse.