Marriage reform in Israel, at long last!...

I know. Some people will tell me to mind my own business and stay focused on the political issues Israel faces, the implication being that as a non-Jew I have nothing to say about what religious rules should or should not govern the lives of Israelis, and to a large degree I would agree. It is not really my business. However, here is where I disagree, and why it is in fact a little bit my business as well: as a dedicated Israel advocate for the last six or seven years, I have always felt a sense of unease to have to admit to varied audiences that, for all its amazing achievements in so many fields, Israel was still in some respects a quasi medieval society. Which other quasi medieval societies make sure that their respective clergies rule the lives of their citizens, even the ones that could care less about religion? You guessed it: the neighbors, that’s who, and it’s not pretty as we all know. This was a blot on Israel’s image, and I for one I’m glad it is being removed. Israel belongs in full to the most advanced societies of our world, and these relics don’t belong there any more. If some people want to live under religious rules, that’s their privilege but it should be by choice. What is not acceptable is to impose these rules on those who dont’ want them. That’s not freedom. That’s totalitarianism. It’s way past time to dispense with it.

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