Covenant vs. the New Progressive Reality

Israel has resisted liberal progressivism better than many Western nations, but the battle is far from over

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Those who watch Hebrew news and television series can’t escape noticing the dramatic increase in programming dealing with women and LGBT empowerment. 

Last Saturday night’s news featured two examples that were, pure and simple, re-education workshops designed to make us “better human beings.” Microsoft-Israel CEO Asaf Rapoport was the instructor of one of those workshops dealing with the advantages and benefits of the LGTB lifestyle. Rapoport promised a grant for local homosexual couples searching for foreign surrogate mothers. This grant, offered only to Microsoft employees, came in response to the new surrogate law, which denies state funding to same-sex couples who wish to have children in this way.

IDF Maj. Dana Ben Ezra, the first female deputy battalion commander whose entire appearance serves to promote feminine masculinity, instructed the workshop dealing with the benefits of women serving in combat units. Ben Ezra, needless to say, couldn’t appear on TV without the IDF’s approval and full cooperation. Her appearance, therefore, can be seen as part of a full-scale army indoctrination program that also includes television series like “Mixed Unite” and “The Air Force Pilotesses.”

The intensive re-education effort, one should note, runs across partisan lines. Both left and right, albeit to lesser degree, encourage the army, government, courts of law and hosts of NGOs to participate in this grand scheme to turn the passage “male and female He created them” into a primitive and oppressive notion. 

Society’s new standard, they teach us, calls for alignment with a radical project that strives to transform us all into a genderless non-violent mass that loathes nationality, religion and heritage. Rapoport’s grant, given only to homosexual couples, and the state’s special benefits for single mothers, for example, demonstrate full support for the “alternative family” trend that now sweeps the Western world. Anyone who would dare to change the channel during such a demonstration is now viewed as society’s new abnormal, homophobes and misogynists. And, for the benefit of us all, they must submit to the terms of the “enlightened” new norms.

All of this would have gone unchallenged if it weren’t for this defiant thing called “covenant.” The effort to irrevocably set society on this new path could have been a complete success if Jews weren’t stuck up on their connection up to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and if their ancestors hadn’t agreed to receive two particular stone tablets given atop Mount Sinai. 

Today, this covenant frustrates the re-education plans because, despite everything, it is continually renewed with every circumcision and every wedding ceremony. A covenant sealed with an unremovable mark upon every Israelite male serves as an unavoidable reminder of the commitment made millennia ago: “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.” Likewise the oath “if I forget you, O Jerusalem” taken by every Jewish groom, even if often uttered in a indifferent manner.

Whether or not one is religious, circumcision and wedding vows do print a stop sign on the Jewish soul, which is why so many are suspicious of anything that threatens to disconnect them from the covenant in which they sometimes don’t even believe. As surveys repeatedly demonstrate, most Israelis would not mix milk with meat, while most do fast on Yom Kippur and read the Haggadah on Passover Eve. This means that imperfect as their adherence may be, most Jews remain committed to the covenant to one degree or another. 

The rejection of post-modern agendas here in Israel, therefore, has nothing to do with homophobia or misogyny, and everything to do with some form of fidelity to a covenant, even if most can’t fully comprehend it.  

Nevertheless, carefully-chosen news items, agenda-driven interviews and TV series, celebrity sub-culture–it all shows that the effort to impose a new politics of identity is gaining ground, which in turn puts traditional and semi-traditional Israelis constantly on the defensive. What seems like an orchestrated assault on faith and religious practices does take a toll, and makes one wonder whether or not the Jewish state will remain Jewish. 

Though some might find comfort in the fact that Israel today is much better off than at the time of Ahab and Jezebel, whose campaign to transform Israel to a “normal” country left a mere 7,000 who refused the societal norms of their day, the outcome of the present battle is anything but decided.


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