International news agencies reported earlier this month that a couple of the girls who had died in the recent Tel Aviv bombing were refused burial in Israel because they were of non-Jewish mothers. Obviously, this was never mentioned on satellite TV while the somber faced newscasters of the different western networks commented on the funerals of those who had died in the blast. Had something similar occurred in any other supposedly democratic country whereby a full citizen is denied a basic right because of his religion, race or color, the whole free world would have been hurling accusations of discrimination. It is thus important to reflect on this matter because herein lies one of the main ills of Zionist Israel.
Many of the immigrants from the former Soviet Union to Israel are Christian (some estimate as much as 20%). They are either involved in mixed marriages or have nothing to do with Judaism; but immigrating to Israel gave them the opportunity to get out of the Soviet Union at the time. Even though most of the Israeli political leadership seems conveniently happy to use these people to add to Israel’s population and serve in the army, the rabbinical authorities that provide the religious justification for the existence of Israel as a Jewish state consider them polluting to Israel’s religious/racial purity!
This is not the first time that such an incident occurs. Since rabbinical authorities that control Jewish cemeteries refuse burial in such cases, the families of the dead would have to find non-Jewish cemeteries. It would come as no surprise that neither the Christian Arab religious authorities in Israel, nor their communities, are too enthusiastic about providing their cemeteries to be used for burial since for all intents and purposes, those to be buried are self declared and committed Zionists whose families are overwhelmingly Zionist Jewish Israelis. The only other alternative of being buried in a Christian cemetery in Palestine outside the Green Line is even a more remote possibility.
This represents a tragic human situation. The dead body may have to be kept in a hospital morgue indefinitely before a solution is found. If this racist mentality is at work during a time of mourning when humans are at their most forgiving, what is it like the rest of the time? Combining religion with politics in the political order of societies is a thing of the past. Israel is one of only a handful of states that still exist today where a subgroup of citizens are denied certain rights because of their religion. If Zionism is unable to be accepting to a gentile who has fallen in the same ditch as a Jew, how will it make peace with its Palestinian Arab neighbor? It is clearly evident that for the Israeli Jew to live in peace and harmony with his fellow human being, he has to renounce Zionism as an outdated ideology that could easily be translated into racist practices. Liberation of the Jew from the limitations of Zionism is an essential first step towards achieving communal peace in the area.