The coexistence between the diverse parts of a community (national, religious, ethnic) are facilitated by their common denominators and by their readiness to accept the very existence of the different parts, every part being entitled to get and obliged to give respect to the different.

So, for example, the French people is united although it contains several religious groups (Christians, Moslems, Mosaics) and several ethnic groups (French, Arabs, Germans, Hebrews etc.). The French regard a person’s religion as a private matter and the freedom of faith a basic principle, there are no attempts to discriminate between the different parts of the nation, there are no attempts of religious coercion, and the French constitution and laws assure this by strict and rigorous restrictions on the religious establishments. The French have a common denominator – the French national identity projected by the French Republic onto all its citizens; In The French Republic there are no other nations except for the French nation, there are no minorities (or any other pejorative name, as is the case in our state) and all the citizens, regardless of differences of ethnicity, religion, skin color, race etc. belong to the French nation. In the French Republic of our days “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” are basic principles and not just another slogan, because the French understand that fraternity (national unity) between different persons is obtained by the freedom to be different and by equality between the different.

The common denominator of the Hebrew people in its state is the Hebrew national identity as a unifying basis for the diverse parts of the people (ethnic groups, religious currents, communities). The Hebrew people in its own state can and must be, like the French people, unified on the basis of the common national identity, and able to regard religion as a personal matter of the individual. But, if the Mosaic Orthodox establishment, through its parties, movements, “courts”, councils will be allowed to continue to attack the other Mosaic currents and the secular majority and to promulgate its ways of life and ritual by force (by state laws too, because of the corrupted parties), we shall be split just like the Lebanese people, or obliged to live under a theocratic regime like the Ayatollahs regime in Iran.

Our country is supposed to be a democracy.  Let us look at the reality:  In our state, there is no freedom of faith, there is no equality between the people appertaining to different beliefs, and consequently there is no fraternity , no unity, no peaceful coexistence. There is inequality and discrimination against the non-Orthodox ethnic Hebrews, by means of laws of discrimination and religious coercion: the discrimination is in the marital state laws, burial laws, education laws, public transport laws, kosher food laws etc. All the ethnic Hebrews recognized as “Jews” were surrendered into the hands of the Orthodox rabbinate by coercion. Such phenomena do not exist in really democratic states. Can one even imagine that in England, for instance, a Catholic couple would be forced to be married by an Anglican priest? The sky should fall first. In addition to the discrimination on religious grounds, there is a basic discrimination on ethnic grounds against “non-Jewish” citizens, depriving them from receiving the national identity of the state and so making them second class citizens, pejoratively categorizing them as minorities or “goyim”, denying them the rights and duties which “Jews” have.

The discrimination and coercion on religious grounds emanate from the fact that, in our state, belief is not a personal matter of the individual, but has become a public affair for militant fundamentalist religious political and economic organizations. The discrimination on ethnic grounds emanates from the definition of our state as a “Jewish state” instead of a national civil Hebrew state, able to project its national identity onto all its citizens. The religious coercion laws situation in our state resembles Iran more than a Western democratic state, and the national unity situation in our state is on the slope of becoming similar to Lebanon, in which each religious current and each ethnic group has political, economical, educational and military organizations, the national Lebanese identity not being an ultimate unifying common denominator.

Nothing could be more ridiculous and even wicked than the religious parties’ false argument that religious coercion and discrimination contribute to the national unity. The opposite is true: coercion and discrimination provoke hatred, conflicts and division. This indeed is the situation in our state, one of the boomerang results being the hatred towards the Mosaic religion and its pious believers, which has reached pinnacles found only in anti-Semitic countries in their darker periods, all because the religious political parties have elaborated religious coercion, discrimination, and brutal interference in one of the most personal matters of the individual: belief. Another example will show how unity is obtained: Look at the Japanese !

Indeed, look at the Japanese. The Japanese had an ancient national religion, Shinto, the same as the Hebrews had an ancient national religion, the Mosaic religion. But today, after thousands of years, only forty percent of the Japanese people are Shintoists, and the rest are atheists, Zen-Buddhists, Catholics etc. Did this affect the national unity of the Japanese, do hatred, hostility, conflicts, discrimination exist among them? No! The Japanese are one of the most united peoples because they regard belief as the personal matter of the individual, and consequently religious interference, coercion, discrimination or suchlike are just unthinkable there, i.e. in Japan there is freedom of belief. The Japanese look for the national common denominator: identification with their homeland, national identity, sharing the same language, culture, history, fate, etc. Of course, all the Japanese, of all religions and beliefs, regard the Shintoist tradition as one of the components of Japanese culture.

Will we be like the Lebanese, on the brink of a fratricidal war due to intolerance and political interference in matters of belief ? It is preferable to be like the French and the Japanese, and to separate the issue of religion from national and state issues and to regard belief as a personal matter. We must adopt the principle of “Freedom, Equality, Fraternity” for all citizens, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, community etc. This principle keeps France a stable state, this principle will keep us so too.

Next Chapter – The Popular Mosaic Tradition

Previous Chapter – The Religious Coercion

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