IN October Israeli author Yoram Kaniuk, 81, was hailed by Israeli secularists for winning a court case that compelled the state to stop listing Judaism as his “religion”.
After his victory, Kaniuk said:
I was sick and tired of an extremist right-wing religious establishment taking over our lives. We are a secular majority and we just give in to it. I hope (my) court ruling will change this.
I was never a practicing Jew and I don’t believe in God. When the Jews were scattered across the world, religion bound us together, but we don’t need this anymore.
Well, this week 42 people petitioned Israel’s High Court of Justice to attain the same the same “non-religious” status.
Among them was journalist Yaron London and his partner author Michal Zamir, and former Deputy Commander of the Israel Air Force Amos Amir.
London infuriated ultra-Orthodox Jews earlier this year when he wrote in Yediot Aharonot:
Hasn’t the time come to openly say what we feel? Haredi society educates people to be parasites and cultivates poverty. Indeed, it is the most powerful agent of spreading ignorance, prejudice and all sorts of other nonsense. It is an enemy of the sciences, shuns the arts, disparages the rule of the people, hates women and exploits them. It despises those who are different, regardless of whether they are foreigners or members of our own people.
This prompted a call for his assassination by Shmuel Kooper, writing for an ultra-Orthodox outfit called Tzofar.
Exactly like Hitler should have been eliminated before he killed the Jews, so too should be done to anyone who legitimizes public opinion to kill haredi Jews.
London did not call for the killing of Haredi Jews, but merely expressed his desire to see their numbers reduced.
The petitioners are demanding to change their status through a straightforward procedure that requires only a direct appeal or an attorney-submitted declaration to the Interior Ministry stating that they practice no religion and do not abide by the commandments of any specific religion.
Hat tip: Equality Jack