Opinion: Haters of Israel insist the Jewish state is a fascist country, while Netanyahu’s return to power, coupled with outrageous statements by his coalition partners, only act as fuel to the fire of that claim

These are difficult times for those who love Israel, and good times for those who hate it.

Our haters have long contended that Israel is a fascist country. They did not need to see Benjamin Netanyahu return to power or hear the outrageous statements of his new coalition partners – Orit Strock and Simcha Rothman – who wish to amend Israeli law to allow religious sentiments to dictate if and when public services must be provided.

אורית סטרוק, שמחה רוטמן
Simcha Rothman, Orit Strock (Photo: GPO, Motti Kimchi)


They did not care whether far-right lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir won too many Knesset seats in Israel’s latest elections. To them, Israel was fascist before the November 1 ballot.

But, those haters now have cause for celebration because they have found a treasuretrove of new ammunition they can use.

Recently, some 300 American rabbis signed an open letter, stating that they will prevent the visits of Religious Zionist Party political figures in their communities.

These are not members of the Orthodox wing of Judaism, but make no mistake, they represent the majority of American Jews. Their communities regularly host Israeli guest speakers. I was myself was hosted by many of them.

Far-right speakers were never invited to those communities to begin with, but their fears expressed in the open letter are real.
American Jewry is concerned, upset and dismayed. The last thing we want is to lose them. They constitute a pillar of Israel’s strategic strength, and are steadfast supporters of a Jewish and democratic Israel.

In their letter, they refer to Israel’s Declaration of Independence and the values it represents, and meticulously articulate the feelings of many supporters of the country.

Right-wing group hangs banner in support of new Netanyahu government
Right-wing group hangs banner in support of new Netanyahu government (Photo: Reuters)


I also received a letter. It was written to me by a close friend who books Israeli speakers to address the Jewish communities in the U.S.. This friend is a Zionist from head to toe, and believes her job to be part of the fight against the anti-Israeli propaganda. In her letter she expressed her concerns. But what could I say? Her fears mirror my own.

Rothman, a supposed judicial expert, said in his public statement explaining the proposed legislation, that a hotel must not be compelled to provide service to guests with different sexual orientations. When outrage at his comments were expressed, he doubled down. “Freedom of occupation states a person can be rude to customers, ban them or not,” he said. “That is the meaning of freedom.”

No sir. I say to him. By your logic, a hotel owner who hates settlers should be allowed to throw them out of his establishment, and the followers of the Islamic Movement should be allowed to hang a sign at the door of their hotel, stating that Jews are not welcome.

Has Rothman lost his mind? Does he believe his interpretation of freedom of occupation? Is it really racism protected by law?
And what of his close political ally Strock? If the amendment passes (one that she understands to mean that a religious Jewish doctor can refuse to treat a non-Jew on Shabbat in order not to violate any religious belief), Israel will see a massive change to its society, very quickly.

Today, Arab doctors constitute nearly 50% of all physicians working in Israeli hospitals. What if they will soon refuse to treat Zionists? Theodor Herzl must be rolling in his grave.

None of this nightmarish view of the future will come to pass. But, those two members of the incoming coalition, who may be given a seat at the table as ministers or in other senior positions, will hold power. They will be part of the regime.

Add their outrageous comments to those made by Netanyahu’s oldest son, Yair.

יאיר נתניהו
Yair Netanayhu (Photo: EPA)


The young Netanyahu accused the police and prosecution of treason – punishable by death – for indicting his father on charges of corruption. He called the indictment an attempted coup.
The more this madness persists, the more American Jews will be pushed into the arms of the radical left, which will only say: “We told you so.” With new evidence to show that Israel is a fascist country.

It is hard to understand how an educated person such as Rothman fails to understand the meaning of his words. He must know that at least on the face of it, he and his cohorts are pushing Israel to resemble Afghanistan, making it unappealing to Jews worldwide.

Some responsibility does lie with the elites. Israel judicial system has trampled on the law on occasion, when it failed to ban candidates to the Knesset who denied Israel’s right to exist, but did ban those who held other racist views.

Center-left political parties ran on nothing more than an anti-Netanyahu platform in the last election cycle, and by doing so, emboldened the ultra-Orthodox parties and the far-right, to exact exorbitant concessions by the Likud leader in coalition talks.

But most of the blame is on Netanyahu. His coalition partners should have met with more resistance from him during negotiations.

They had no viable alternative.

ראש הממשלה המיועד בנימין נתניהו בפודקאסט של פיטר רובינסון
Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Screengrab from Jordan Peterson podcast)


He signed agreements containing damaging legislation and he had been forced to issue multiple public statements in one day – to distance himself from their rhetoric.

We are not witnessing the end of Israeli democracy, but the gravity of our situation must not be underestimated.

In his past terms as prime minister, Netanyahu succeeded in alienating American Jews when he discarded bi-partisanship and threw his lot with the Republican Party. Now, he is making things worse.

As reported by Ynetnews