Israeli President Shimon Peres on Sunday stated emphatically that the Jewish state is the one Western-style democracy where it was impossible to separate between religion and state.
Peres was discussing with students at the Machon Lev Jerusalem Technology College the issue of the government forcing ultra-Orthodox Jewish men, even those studying in yeshivas (seminaries), to serve in the IDF.
At one point in the discussion, the president stated, “It is illogical and impossible to say that we will have a secular state. …I do not see how you could separate Judaism from the state.”
Peres’ remarks echo the positions of numerous “secular” politicians in the Knesset that religion in Israel does not belong to the ultra-Orthodox alone. In fact, many of those same “secular” lawmakers have initiated and regularly attend a Knesset Bible study. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also regularly hosts a Bible study under the auspices of his office.