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December 3, 2022 8:46 am

Tel Aviv Mayor Warns Israel ‘Transforming into Theocracy’

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avatar by i24 News

A general view shows part of Tel Aviv, Israel June 12, 2022. Picture taken with a drone on June 12, 2022. REUTERS/Ilan Rosenberg

i24 NewsThe mayor of Israel’s secular, liberal city Tel Aviv on Friday warned that the Jewish state was becoming a theocracy as its incoming government is set to put extremist lawmakers in charge of key state sectors.

Israel’s Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has made coalition deals with the likes of far-right parties Religious Zionism, Jewish Power, and Noam, sparking concerns of suppressed social rights among the Israeli public.

“Israel is being transformed from a democracy to a theocracy,” Mayor Ron Huldai told Channel 12 News. “The majority cannot (be allowed to) impose its views on the minority.”

Huldai’s comments came after he and several other mayors vowed to push back after Netanyahu agreed to give Noam head Avi Maoz – known for his anti-LGBTQ+ views – authority over content in Israeli schools.

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“That’s the story of Israel being turned into a theocracy,” said Huldai. “We are going to be a Halachic state,” he added, referring to Jewish religious law.

In a move that has faced widespread criticism, fringe lawmaker Moaz will have control over the Education Ministry unit responsible for external teaching.

“The solemn responsibility for the educational content our children will study in schools now passes to you,” he said. “You must now serve as the gatekeepers.”

‘We’ll keep Tel Aviv free’

Asked by Channel 12 if he thought Israel would no longer be a democracy, Huldai replied: “Absolutely – the majority will impose everything it wants on the minority. In all the fascist states, the leaders were chosen by the people.”

“Democracy stems from a person having rights that nobody can take from them — not the majority, and not God. Democracy is not the majority taking control of the minority and telling it what to think, how to eat, and what to do,” he continued.

“Tel Aviv is democratic, tolerant, pluralistic, respectful of every minority… We’ll defend that… We’ll keep Tel Aviv free.”

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