Friday, September 10, 2010

Two Wrongs Don't Make a Right

In a previous post, I was outraged by the racist discrimination in a girls' school in the religious settlement of Emanuel. I am still outraged. The compromise achieved after the Supreme Court's ruling was that one of the communities will build its own private school, where it can [and will] decide who gets admitted to study. This means the segregation will continue and the problem was in fact swept under the carpet rather than solved.

A few days ago, ultra-religious deputy health minister Jacob Litzman suggested applying the Emanuel 'solution' to the theater actors' boycott of Ariel. Theaters that refuse to perform in Ariel will be denied state funding (private theaters can decide for themselves where to perform). The underlying principle, according to Litzman, is that the state may have a say only when it pays the bill – one of the stupidest statements I ever heard.

Never mind how the ultra-religious use and twist every wrong to make it beneficial to their cause, let's concentrate on the role of the State. The State (through legislators) defines what is right and wrong and changes the definition from time to time, as society mores evolve. A fundamental wrong is wrong regardless by whom it is committed, state-funded establishment, private person, or group. Racist discrimination is wrong, Mr. Litzman, even in private schools.

As for the Ariel boycott, it reminds me of the following joke: Two Jews are stranded on a desert island. They build three synagogues - one for the orthodox Jew, one for the reform Jew, and one that neither one of them will ever set foot in!