Israeli Minister: "There will be a civilian revolution"
if thou refuse to let my people go, behold—Exodus 10:4
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"Am I my brother's keeper?"
Signalling the changing times, Prime Minister Netanyahu is a secondary player in this affair. Lapid became the second most powerful political figure in the country by fanatically preaching "Enrollment for All," as his father Tommy did before him. His party is wildly anti-religious; it vilifies the exemption from military service given to yeshiva students while supporting specific exemptions to seculars. Bennett belongs to Religious-Zionism and was a prominent army officer. In recent days, it was published that both of them had reached an agreement on the enrollment of ultra-Orthodox Haredim, and thus can present a united front in the negotiation with Netanyahu; if this is true, reaching a coalitional agreement would be only a matter of Netanyahu offering the correct ministries and honors to his partners.
The key statement in the event was his answer regarding what will happen if the new government decides to recruit Haredim; I tried to keep his peculiar style while translating. "There will be protest rallies of thousands and tens of thousands on the streets, thousands of yeshiva students will fill up the prisons, the military police will run amok in Bnei-Brak [trapping those refusing recruitment in a town populated by Haredim], there will be a civilian revolution and andralomusia [from Greek, androloimosso, used here in the sense of chaos]. The worst thing is that those [Haredim] who go to the army now, will stop immediately." Yishai leads them, and he serves as senior government minister. He called for a revolution if his political goals are not achieved.
Is this legal?
Western readers seldom find this question asked in their isolated bastions of purified justice. In schools, it is avoided. Government officials avoid it as if it were a modern version of the Black Death. Is preaching revolution legal? Why do those self-defined "democratic" governments avoid the issue? If they say that it is legal, they open the gate to their dismissal by a popular revolution against their unending violence. If they claim it is illegal, they formally declare themselves as illegal. After all, the regimes in USA, France, and many other countries are the result of violent popular revolutions. A good and more formal treatise on the issue is "The Justification of Revolution" by CFJ Doebbler. One of his central claims is that revolution against oppression is justified; he writes, "Oppression is generally understood to be the subjugation of a person or persons to the will of another person or persons. The oppressor is relying on his acts being so 'clearly inexorable and invincible' that they do not give 'rise to revolt but to submission' (Weil 1951). In international affairs oppression inevitably involves a government. A government acts oppressively when it directly or indirectly prevents a person from exercising basic human rights."
Historically, there is no other option but recognizing the legitimacy of such a struggle; freedom is a God-given right, inalienable by any oligarchy or social group. In Israeli society, not only Haredim are oppressed by an unholy coalition between an economic oligarchy and self-serving technocrats; the conditions for a legitimate revolution are ripe. The subsequent question has a less clear answer: is a government minister allowed to declare a revolution of which he will be a prominent leader? Mr. Yishai, would you mind enlightening us on this?
....But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government..." (from the Preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence).
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