No Country for Non-Jews?
Initial Reaction of RHR’s President on what the Elections Tell Us about Israeli Society and Our Task as a Rabbinic Human Rights Organization
There is still the possibility of surprises, but we need to divide between what we these elections teach us about Israeli society (Fairly clear) and what the politicians will do (Less predictable).
Prime Minister Netanyahu can’t form a coalition without a Moshe Kahlon, unless there is an unlikely coalition with the Ultra-Orthodox and Yesh Atid together. If Kahlon will stick to his declared principles, there is some hope that something good will come out of these elections for Israeli Jews living in poverty. There is much less of a chance that anything good will come out of these elections for weak and underprivileged non-Jews. (Palestinians, Negev Bedouin, African asylum seekers, etc.)
Additionally, until now there has always been a majority that wanted to believe that their leaders were working for peace, even if that wasn’t true. Whether or not Netanyahu really meant what he said about a Palestinian State (RHR is in favor of a peace process leading to an end to the Occupation, but it is beyond our mandate to endorse any particular proposal. A Palestinian state is not the only way to achieve peace, but I understand his statement as a clear endorsement of the strategy of managing the conflict, but not trying to achieve peace.), we see that there is now a majority that is willing to say: “It is OK that our leaders won’t work for peace.”
As mentioned above, I don’t see forces in the new government who will defend the human rights of Palestinians or other non-Jews. We will continue to search for human rights supporters within the government, and to demand that, whatever the government’s position will be on managing or solving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, human rights must be honored.
We still have a lot of work to do. We must defend the human rights of the ger (non-Jews living among us), the widow and the orphan, and all reaeinu (those who are essentially like us, whether Jewish or non-Jewish, because they are created in God’s Image). We must provide moral leadership and the inspiration to honor God’s Image in every human being.
We still have a lot of work to do-both to defend the human rights of the weak, and to provide moral leadership and inspiration to honor God’s Image in every human being.