After Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement of a “pause” in the judicial overhaul legislation, the crisis in Israel seems to have been temporarily suspended. However, the mobilization against the government, which has just approved the formation of a “national guard” under the direction of the Minister of National Security, Itamar Ben Gvir, does not cease. The fight for democracy is always engaged and must be reflected upon, especially since in the case of Israel, democracy has a special significance. For the State of Israel has the singularity of being both democratic and Jewish – and it is the meaning of “Jewish” that, like that of “Zionism”, is today subject to debate. This struggle affects both Israelis and most Jews, and the Diaspora has shown itself in an unprecedented way, not so much as a sign of attachment as of concern for itself. In this moment of “suspension” marked by the Pesach holidays and while waiting to see how Netanyahu will end the “pause”, we return in K. to this political sequence that Israel and the Jews are going through with two texts: “The Israeli crisis as an opportunity”, by Bruno Karsenti; and “Let’s pray”, by Danny Trom – who looks at the history of the prayer for the kingdom, but also at that of the prayer for the State of Israel, written in 1948 shortly after the Declaration of Independence of May 14.
Finally, K. is re-publishing this week a short story by Michael Freund. ‘A Passover tale’, about Ukrainian Jewish refugees and the grumpy host who welcomes them: “Liliane and I are going to welcome Ukrainian refugees. Jews. I had left my contact information with a Jewish association that is looking for places to house families who have fled the war. This morning I received a call from a certain Esther who wanted to know more about the accommodation we were offering. I gave a brief description: an independent studio, adjoining our apartment, of about 350 square feet, fully furnished. Esther’s first question was whether it was kosher. I answered that no, it was not kosher, “But is it could be koshered?” she insisted. The question was rhetorical: everything can be koshered, of course, but Esther wanted to know if we were ready to welcome observant Jews. I answered curtly that we were not, that the studio was not kosher, that it could not be made kosher, and that I did not want any Orthodox Jews anyway.”