More Israeli Jews want it made easier to be declared as ‘people of no religion’

Yoram Kaniuk

Yoram Kaniuk

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.

He added:

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.

Yaron London

Yaron London

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.

He said:

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



17 responses to “More Israeli Jews want it made easier to be declared as ‘people of no religion’”

  1. David Anderson says:

    Truth hurts doesn’t it Shmuck sorry Shmuel Kooper.

  2. Broga says:

    We need more people to declare their secularism in the UK. It is still to a far to great extent the opinion that dare not state its name. However, that is changing. Professor Dawkins’ has caused outrage, in some quarters, by describing the religious indoctrination of children as child abuse. The respondees on Daily Mail online give him plenty of support. One wonders what else you would describe threatening a child with the eternal torment of hell fire.

    Yet even the flexible C.of E. can’t bring themselves to condemn this mental torture of children. And where are the politicians? I suppose the church’s, degraded by their desperation to defend their indefensible superstitions, take the view that they either hang together or hang separetly.

    I see your favourite and mine, the egregious Bishop Sentamu, wants more weapons in this country. He wants more full time soldiers and, obviously, that means more weapons. I thought his
    fantasy God was the Prince of Peace.

  3. charlie says:

    A religious nutter wants more weapons?
    The world is full to overflowing with weapons and those who want them used.
    Prince of peace? More like prince of piece. A piece of any country they want to exploit.
    Happy winter solstice to all.

  4. […] More Israeli Jews want it made easier to be declared as ‘people of no religion’. […]

  5. Brummie says:

    I think “Jewish” is one area where is is difficult to separate nationality from race from religion. This makes our usual,
    justifiable, ridicule of the supernatural less easy.

  6. 1859 says:

    I’m sick and fucking tired of Haredi Jews calling everyone ‘Hitler’ or ‘Nazi’ whenever their narrow-minded bigotry is challenged. It’s almost as though the racial fanaticism that produced the Holocoust has somehow ‘jumped race’ like an infection. The ultra-orthodox now use the Holocaust as a weapon to taunt the rest of the world and to justify any act of gross inhumanity they enact against women and children. Challenge any Haredi Jew about the blatant and suffocating indoctrination of their children and you will soon be called a Nazi. I hope the secular movement in Israel snowballs into an avalanche! Well done Yaron London, you have my unflinching support!

  7. barriejohn says:

    1859: Well said.

    Broga: The Mail rubbished Prof Dawkins’s claims (though he didn’t quite say what they alleged that he had said), obviously expecting the usual response, but the comments have been overwhelmingly in support of what he said!

    He’s right. Religious indoctrination — and Catholicism is not the worst flavor though it’s right up there — is gross mental abuse. It raises kids who would otherwise turn out spiritual or irreligious to perpetuate the pernicious dogma of tribalism, bigotry, control, violence, and all the other lamentable aspects that religions historically entail. Inculcating Catholicism, Islam, Judaism, etc. into a child is no different than teaching him/her to be a misogynist, racist, homophobe, xenophobe, and so on… – well, come to think of it, that IS what religions teach anyway.

    Strangely enough, no further comments have been accepted after the following piece of moonshine (no 249) at 16.53:

    Dawkins must have a book or tv prgram out soon, he always gets his free press. I see his dim followers are out in force, must have left the door to the computer room unlocked at the metal hospital again. You Atheists are thicker than a bus full of Creatioists.

    They don’t like being put in their place!

  8. barriejohn says:

    PS That last comment (from David, of Wales believe it or not), was copied and pasted, and demonstrates the bigotry, prejudice, small-mindedness and sheer nastiness of the religious so clearly – though he will never see that. I don’t know what a metal hospital is (though I had a friend who was a metallurgist with British Rail in Swindon in the good old days, and might have been glad to have used one on occasions), but I did receive treatment for depression at a mental hospital at one time, and see nothing to be ashamed of in that. It certainly did me more good than all the “prayers” and “counselling” of my Christian friends, or the homoeopathic treatment which they wanted me to have – in fact, it turned my life around, and even enabled me to turn my back on the crutch of religious faith, which lay at the root of a lot of my problems. Funny how they give themselves away, isn’t it?

  9. Robster says:

    There’s no doubt that indoctrinating children with stone-age religious nonsense is child abuse. What they’re selling is a fraud and is really some sort of sick punishment, those of us lucky or rational enough to have escaped these outrageously silly belief systems are the lucky ones. The reality is that our “good news” is a whole lot more good than the “good news” offered by the baby jesus, god, ghost thing or the other one, what’s his name…that’s right allah fantasies.

  10. barriejohn says:

    Is there a bug in the system? The latest comments don’t show in the Recent Comments box on this thread. I’ve noticed the same thing before when they appear on some pages and not others. Is it just me?

  11. barriejohn says:

    Now that I’ve posted the above they have suddenly appeared. Am I going mad?

  12. Matt Westwood says:

    This puzzled me:

    “You Atheists are thicker than a bus full of Creatioists.”

    Let me up the ante with: “You religious types are stupider than a barrelful of mathematicians.”

  13. Broga says:

    @barriejohn: I have noticed that the respondees of the Daily Mail often seem much more progressive than the paper. The bigots write a piece, expecting support, and the readers hammer them. Even Brenda and her useless brood take a few hits. Is secularism beginning to eat into the Daily Mail’s historically bigotted readership?

  14. barriejohn says:

    Matt: I couldn’t understand that figure of speech either. There are 406 comments now, but no new ones (apparently)! Mine never appeared, and nor did any posted between 09:49 & 15:54 yerterday, so I assume gremlins at work again.

    Broga: I’ve noticed that as well. When they lambasted that TV series about the comprehensive school earlier in the year the response was incredible. They often seem to misjudge things badly nowadays, and, let’s face it, as with the odious Littlejohn and that scurrilous piece the other day about the sex-change teacher, they are intelligent people who know far better, but just play to the gallery in the most disgraceful, rabble-rousing manner.

  15. barriejohn says:

    Here it is. He came in for a lot of stick!–hes-wrong-job.html

    Richard – you missed me coming out as a transsexual primary teacher 2 years ago. Want to know my biggest fear – bigots like you in the media making a big thing of it. The children were told and everyone was very supportive of my decision and were full of understanding and compassion. The children were not phased by it and have readily accepted it. Parents were very supportive as well. Good luck to Lucy in her decision. I look forward to the day we can be left in peace.

    Oh, for God’s sake grow up folks. So Mr Upton will be Miss Meadows. Oh wow, this must make the kids feel so insecure – NOT. The only thing that will create a problem for the kids (including Mr Cowie’s brood) is the adults who get all screwed up and kick and yell against this really very natural thing. There is nothing to understand here for the kids. It’s very simple, and it’s not my business tell Mr Cowie what he should tell his children. But how about telling them that Mr Upton has always felt that he needed to life life as a girl, as a woman – AND THAT’S ALLRIGHT. So simple – it’s not a problem for you, my child, and you can make it better for Miss Meadows by treating her with dignity and respect. Meet the real world folks; it can be a lovely place; you can be a part of making it a lovely place. So easy! Give it a try; you will feel so much better!

  16. Equality Jack says:

    I got a hat tip! Huzzah! Huzzay! ^_^

  17. Disqusted632 says:

    Study the Bible, it says the Jews are the children of Satan.