You really couldn’t make this up! An article in today’s ‘Guardian reports:
“A retired lawyer who fled the Nazis as a child is suing the Israeli national airline El Al for alleged discrimination after being asked to move on a plane when an ultra-Orthodox Jew objected to sitting next to a woman.”
Well, as someone who is certainly closer to the Holocaust than most, her being angry when faced with discrimination is understandable. Nevertheless, one might wonder if she took note of a recent story of a Palestinian and an Arab-Israeli being forced to leave a plane at the insistence of Jewish Israeli passengers.
Unsurpisingly, the Israel Religious Action Center, which is trying to turn back the increasingly overt ultra-Othodox influence in Israel, has taken up this particular cause célèbre. After all, its mission is quite clear:
“The public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, IRAC was founded in 1987 with the goals of advancing pluralism in Israeli society and defending the freedoms of conscience, faith, and religion.”
Now, while it does appear that the organisation is trying to do good work within the limits of the oxymornic “Jewish Democracy”, that really is a difficult task. After all, it would mean reaching the conclusion that “their” country is a priori an ethnocracy, rather than a democracy and this in turn would mean questoning the zionist state’s raison d’être per se. Still, should they begin that difficult task, they would also reach the conclusion that in an ethnocracy which is soley based on religion there is going to come a point where religious nutters hold sway on who sits where and on what plane and a point where, if you try to stop that happening, they’ll just take over the whole plane.