Author and journalist Tuvia Tenenbom calls the rift in Israeli society over judicial reform frightening.
“I am really worried, I really feel bad. I see that history is repeating itself,” Tenenbom tells Israel National News. “Two thousand years ago you lost this land because you hated each other, there was so much hate between us every time we lost [the Land of Israel.] We had Israel for two times in our history before, and now we have Israel for 75 years. We're never had it for 75 years.”
He continues: “It looks like we reached a point psychologically, you know, that we say, ‘Okay, let's break it now. Let's hate each other as much as we can. Let's break the whole thing from its foundations.’ That's what it looks like and it’s a really bad feeling.”
Tenenbom describes the atmosphere he experiences today in Israel:
“I see the country, I see the people. You know, people don't look at each other, and they try to ram [through judicial reform]. I'm not taking any sides about the the judicial reform but I think that the way they ram it into the Knesset so fast and disrespect the other like ‘we are Jews and they are not’ and ‘we are the majority” – this is not the way to do business.”
According to Tenenbom, “I live in Germany, I live in the United States. I’m going around the world. The only place I saw something similar to this was in Hungary, but even there not so much.”
He criticizes judicial reform for being “too much, too fast” and accuses the government and the opposition of disrespect coming from both sides.
“That is not correct. The hatred is frightening,” he says. “I don’t know – I’m not a prophet – if Israeli society will be able to ever get over this period, and if [Jews] are not losing the land one more time.”
According to him, if there was a book on “how to destroy your land and how to lose the land,” or if someone hired him to write a book on “how to take the Land of Israel and destroy it totally,” he would write everything that has happened up until now.
When asked what he feels the solution is, he comments that Israel needs to pause the process.
“Wake up and stop everything, let’s sit down and talk. Stop for G-d’s sake, stop. You see what happens on the streets, you can’t call hundreds of thousands of people anarchists or leftists, let me tell you what is left, Gideon Levy is a leftist,” he says. “Most of them are not. This is your father, these are your brothers and sisters. What are you doing here? Would you allow this at a family table, this kind of fighting? Wouldn't you say, ‘Let's stop and talk and treat the other as an equal?’”