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Issues of the Day Kudos to a Noble Adversary, the Speaker of the Knesset's Defense of Democracy

(Mevasseret Tzion, July 15, 2011) I am not usually in the habit of praising Revisionist leaders. Revisionism defines Zionism in terms of Jewish control over the entire historical Land of Israel.  This position has in the past and continues today to inspire some of the most extreme phenomena in Israeli society.

However, despite their identification with Revisionist ideology, a number of senior Likud figures have expressed opposition to the mounting anti-democratic laws and policies advocated by members of their party and the other Coalition parties to its right.  Among these, Speaker Reuven Rivlin has been increasingly outspoken and proactive in his condemnation of the surging anti-democratic legislation proposed by Likud, Yisrael Beitinu and Bayit HaYehudi parliamentarians.

In an article appearing in the weekend edition of Haaretz (July 15, 2011) in which he comments on the Boycott Law passed this week in the Knesset, Rivlin writes:

woe betide the Jewish democratic state that turns freedom of expression into a civil offense…Not only does the legislation not provide democracy with which to cope with the boycott problem, it also threatens to catapult us into an era in which gagging people becomes accepted legal practice; an era in which the democratic-constitutional boundary line falls victim to acts of legal infraction.

Rivlin is the Knesset’s president. In this case and others, he has spoken and acted to turn back the rising tide of legislative thuggery that is increasingly a part of a parliament which has become the playing field of extremists. His principled stand stands starkly against an increasingly dismal legislative landscape.  

© Yosef Gotlieb, . All rights reserved