This week, prominent Religious Zionist Rabbi Yaakov Ariel made the suggestion that according to Jewish law, it is forbidden to establish a coalition in Israel that depends on a minority group. Rabbi Ariel is of the opinion that this is forbidden.
Ariel wrote an article for a book that examines issues of religion and state from the perspective of Jewish law. In this essay, he stated that members of underrepresented groups, such as Arabs, do not belong in positions of power within the Jewish state.
Even though he did not express so specifically, it looked as though he was alluding to the Bennett-Lapid cabinet that included the Islamist Ra’am party in the Israeli government for the very first time in the history of the country.
According to Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Jewish law forbids forming a coalition with a minority in Israel.
Ariel also stated that non-Jews are not allowed to assume high-ranking posts in the Israeli government, arguing that since Israel is a state established for the Jewish people, it cannot overlook its primary function.
“The public image of the state must remain Israeli,” he stated, and this is represented in a variety of ways, including the prohibition of commercial activity on the Sabbath, the provision of kosher food in public institutions, and the implementation of the Law of Return.
Ariel did not, however, fully rule out the involvement of non-Jews in the decision-making process. He stated that as tax-paying citizens, non-Jews needed a voice in the allocation of finances, thus he did not completely rule out their participation.
According to what he said, political participation by representatives of minority groups is permissible, but only on issues that affect all people equally. However, it is impossible to build a coalition if it is dependent on a minority group.
It is only appropriate for Israelis to hold positions of political power in Israel, especially those as important as prime minister, president, speaker of the Knesset, defense minister, chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, and foreign minister.