Once upon a time…

…someone talked about separating church and state.

This piece in Haaretz calls Israel out for doing the exact opposite. It doesn’t start and end with Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and his apparently not-unusual xenophobic statements. Legions of religious leaders – Rabbis, specifically – are both paid by the State and, under the democratic principle of free speech (since they’re Jewish, they’re stil allowed), spew racist and offensive statement upon racist and offensive statement. Yes, they can say what ever they want to say, and we don’t have to be comforted by their views. In fact, it wouldn’t be a democracy at all if someone’s views didn’t make me want to cringe and run crying from the room. It keeps life exciting and debate healthy.

But the problem is that the government is paying them, and the government is paying them to say these things. The taxpayers here, mostly secular and not all Jewish, are funding this religious intolerance. If it was me, I would be outraged. Probably, though, the lack of outcry has something to do with the general apathy towards politics here. There is an acceptance that things are messed up in a way that’s far too big to fix, not worth the time or effort or risks. I can’t change it, but it can make me really glad I don’t actually live here.

On that note, when Israel changes course and stops resembling Iran, let me know.


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