Thursday, January 11, 2007

Israel Gets Its First Moslem Minister

Defense Minister Amir Peretz appointed MK Raleb Majadele as the Labor party's seventh minister, Minister of Science, Technology, Culture, and Sports.

Majadele is the first Arab to be appointed minister in the State of Israel since its inception.
Actually he is the first Moslem minister. Salah Tarif, a Druze Arab Israeli, served as a Minister Without Portfolio in 2001.

It seems that Peretz, who lacks the qualifications to fill the post of Defense Minister, is continuing the tradition of appointed people lacking the proper qualifications to posts in the Israeli government. According to the Knesset web site, Majadele is a businessman with a high school education. He is certainly a far cry from the reknowned physicist Yuval Ne'eman, who "founded the Ministry of Science and Technology and served as its minister in Yitzhak Shamir's government."

What are the halachic implications of the appointment?
What are the implications of the appointment of an Arab minister for the many Jews who see the State of Israel as the "beginning of the sprouting of our Redemption"? Rabbi Zalman Melamed, Rabbi of Beit El and a leading yeshiva head of the religious-Zionist public, said, "I don't see this as something revolutionary... It is not the government that is holy, but rather the state itself. In any event, we have not been blessing the government for quite a while [since the plans for the Disengagement began to be implemented]."

Rabbi Chanan Porat of Kfar Etzion, a founder of the Gush Emunim settlement organization in Judea and Samaria and a former MK, said, "I think the real issue is not whether he is a Jew or an Arab, but what his positions are; we already have plenty of Cabinet ministers with positions that are too pro-Arab. Take Peretz, for instance; his latest diplomatic plan shows that he is more concerned about a Palestinian state and about Gaza than he is about Sderot... From a Halakhic [Jewish legal] perspective, the late Rabbi Sha'ul Yisraeli [a member of Israel's Chief Rabbinate Council, a Rabbinical Court Judge, and dean of Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav Kook], has already written that appointments that are transient in nature do not violate the prohibition of 'from amongst your brethren.'"


Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Cosmic: If this guy had been a Noble Prize winning rocket scientist, or a Bill Gates, I would have no problem with he being the science minister of our country -- provided of course, he wasn't like our other Arab MK's who malign Israel at every possibility and call for our destruction.

As Chazal said, "Chachma BaGoyim, Taamin" -- believe in the Science of the Non-Jewish Scientists.

The problem here is not that he's Moslem, as rather he barely finished high school. (Some web reports say he didn't finish high school).

Cosmic X said...

On the contrary! He fits in so well with many of our ministers who lack the proper qualifications for their post.

< / sarcasm>

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