Opponents of official ideology in Israel receive life-threatening letters

The opponents of the official ideology and social and religious dogma in Israel receive threatening letters, and plan to ban any public events.

"I was sitting in the Secretariat of the Faculty of History reading letters. I opened one of the envelopes, and suddenly a cloud of white powder emerged from it. The white dust smeared my hands and pants. For a moment I was shocked and threw the envelope on the floor. When the envelope hit the floor, I saw that a letter dropped out of it. It said, "You are an anti-Semite, and you will not live long," said a professor at Tel Aviv University Shlomo Sand.

According to ZMAN.com, Mr. Sand is known for his scandalous political views. In particular, in his book " The Invention of the Jewish People " Sand argues that the Jewish people as such does not exist, and those who today call themselves Jews have no historical right to the territory of Israel, as the real descendants of Abraham, David and Solomon, are Palestinian Arabs - Jews who converted to Islam in the 7th century. Today's Jews are the descendants of various peoples who at different times adopted Judaism.

Zand acknowledged that in his work he pursued not scientific, but primarily political purpose - to prove that Israel should abandon the phrase "Jewish democratic state" and become a "state of all its citizens." He was subjected to obstruction for that for quite a long time.

Shlomo Sand's biography is film-worthy. He was born in 1946 in Linz, Austria in a family of Jewish refugees from Poland. The first eighteen months of his life he spent in refugee camps in Austria and Germany, and in 1948 his parents immigrated to Israel. As he explained, Zionism was not their ideology, but they just "had nowhere to go." It is noteworthy that, despite the need for funds, his father and mother refused German reparations owed to them out of principle.

All this had a significant impact on the worldview of Sand who first joined the Israeli Communists, then, traumatized by the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Czechoslovakia in 1968, left the ranks of the Communist Party and joined the left-radical anti-Zionist and anti-capitalist movement "Matspen" that he soon became disappointed in. Nevertheless, he remained a leftist, becoming one of historians who question the basic assumptions of the theory and practice of Zionism.

It is hardly possible to assess with absolute certainty the quality of work done by Sand. Like any other scientific research, it will always find its critics. Sand with his "anti-Semitic" studies nearly made the list of the enemies of Israel who are fought at the state level.

This letter was received by him on the eve of Nakba Day - a mourning event with regard to the establishment of the state of Israel, held annually by ultra-Arab activists the scientist intended to take part in. However, it is possible that he will manage to do in the future.

According to the portal IzRus, head of the Knesset Committee on Education, Culture and Sports Alex Miller suggested to draft a bill designed to end the use of schools in such provocations.

Currently there is a law that gives the Ministry of Finance the right to deprive structures that carry out such actions of government subsidies. Now, according to Miller, it is expected to expand the powers allowing the Office to directly intervene and prohibit a particular activity that falls into the category of "harmful".

"I took the key definitions from the first law that in recent years has proved its effectiveness, i.e., what actions are are prohibited. They include statements in support of terrorism or glorification of terrorists, incitement of violence, ceremonies representing the Independence Day as the day of mourning, and vandalism against the symbols of Israel. All actions that fall under these definitions will be banned in all educational institutions," said Miller.

To give a clear assessment of all the above is difficult. On the one hand, a person is entitled to their own point of view, even if it is contrary to the state ideology. On the other hand, the authorities have no less right to defend themselves against the allegations that undermine the foundations of statehood. In the end, if Russia at the legislative level makes it possible to introduce administrative or criminal prosecution of those who challenge, for example, the outcome of The Great Patriotic War or talk about the inferiority of the Russian people and Russian culture, the reaction to it will be different from different people.    

Finding a middle ground that satisfies everyone - from Israel to the most ardent patriots of the orthodox democracy - will be very problematic. It is absolutely impossible to find a consensus of the general democratic principles of the rules of morality and national pride. The state and society have to choose priorities. As experience shows, the general declared democratic values ​​move to the background.

Igor Kulagin


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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov