Sefi Rachlevsky
November 29, 2011 - 1:00am

Against the wave of anti-democratic legislation, the meaning of conservatism is turned around; refraining from action becomes active political cooperation with the trampling of democracy.

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman David Rotem's description of Zahava Gal-On as "not even a beast" is, in his context, accurate. According to Rotem's theology, and that of most Orthodox Jews in Israel, Gal-On is indeed barely a beast. You see, there's a hierarchy. Everything living thing has a soul. Above that is the spirit, which is bestowed solely on Jewish men, but which enters the Jewish woman through a kosher union with her husband (which is why it is forbidden to marry a woman who was widowed three times; the assumption is that the spirit of her first husband is knocking off anyone else who enters ).

The highest essence of spirit, the neshama, is the privilege earned by Jewish men through the study of Torah. A heretical woman, who is a leader and who speaks out against religious extremism, is considered rabble and less than a "gentile" or a beast.

It's not for nothing that several leading rabbis prefer a firing squad than hearing women sing. From the Shulhan Arukh code of Jewish law they draw the assertion that the most severe of all transgressions is the useless spilling of seed. This is compared to murdering one's children, as it is written, "your hands become full of blood." The demons responsible for tragedies are born from Jewish seed that was wasted. The Tikun Hatzot ritual of lamentation, a prayer recited after midnight, was created to combat them.

This is the reason for the hiding and silencing of women, so as not to excite the men, which might lead to improper ejaculation.

Those who believe this are not a fringe group. Nearly 53 percent of first-graders classified as Jews now study in religious and ultra-Orthodox schools, and the prevailing theology in most of them teach these things as fact. Just as the Jewish man is a human being, those women who make their voices heard are less than beasts.

Those who fear the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood - and certainly those who would celebrate the victory of political Islam as an excuse for maintaining the settlements - ought to look in the mirror. The conclusion from the increasing control exerted by religious radicalism in the region is simple. The primary power of the various "Brotherhoods" stems from the subsidized religious and educational autonomy that has fashioned what has become the obvious for millions. This is what makes Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein's decision to grant immunity to racist incitement presented as theology and Jewish law so serious. This immunity enables the flow of billions to incitement-ridden rabbinic education, which fashions an "obvious" that permits the killing of non-Jews and the silencing of women.

The resemblance to the "Brotherhoods" continues when it comes to practical politics. The Brotherhoods are prepared to be elected, but don't want to allow anyone to defeat them. That's the way Rotem's gang operates. They're interested in changing the rules so that no one can replace them at the ballot box.

The crushing of substantive democracy is but one stage. The main thing is to change the election laws. It's not for nothing that the gang is working to retroactively change the rules governing elections within the Israel Bar Association. It's not "merely" an effort to gain control over the Judicial Appointments Committee; what's important is to set a precedent of changing election rules.

The political leader of the Jewish Brotherhood, who goes by the catchy name of "Ketzaleh," Yaakov Katz, has revealed his plan. The so-called Grunis law, which he initiated, was, by his own declaration, an important stage in gaining control of the Supreme Court, silencing "that miserable bunch who believe in the laws of the gentiles" on the court and legislating wild laws to impose halakha (Jewish religious law ) on the State of Israel.

There were three reasons why Justice Asher Grunis "merited" to serve this plan to gain control, firstly, because it's important to prevent another woman from serving as Supreme Court president. Jewish law, which forbids hearing women sing, also forbids listening to anything of importance they have to say. A female court president is like an idol in the sanctuary.

Secondly, it's important to them to show that it is possible to change the rules on an ad-hoc, personal basis, and have the Supreme Court reconcile itself to being prevented from choosing a female president and instead, crowning Ketzaleh's choice. Thirdly, Grunis is considered an opponent of judicial activism.

Rotem's gang intends to change the laws for electing the Knesset in a way that will keep them in power, just like the other "brothers" in the region. The plan includes invalidating Arab lists like Balad, while an anti-activist court will not intervene. In response, Israeli Arabs are likely to boycott the ballot, leaving the general election for Jews only.

Also on the way are changes to laws and regulations that would permit voting from abroad, which would add right-wing emigrants to the voting rolls and later allow Orthodox hordes to vote from Brooklyn and impose the Rotem gang on all the country's beasts.

The Supreme Court ought not cooperate with Ketzaleh's plan; it should avoid using laws passed for specific persons and allow Miriam Naor to become its president, with Grunis as her deputy.

Against the wave of anti-democratic legislation, the meaning of conservatism is turned around. Refraining from action becomes active political cooperation with the trampling of democracy.


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