Recordings uncovered by Israeli sources have revealed that far-right members of the Israeli Knesset are planning to turn the apartheid state into a theocracy. Israel has long been charged with the crime of apartheid but, according to the Haaretz newspaper, which obtained dozens of recordings, speeches and articles by deputy Minister, Avi Maoz, members of the religious Zionist block are seeking to move the country even further to the right by establishing a theocracy.
Maoz became leader of the Noam Party after its establishment in 2019. He was re-elected in the 2022 Knesset elections as part of the Religious Zionism Party. An agreement signed with the Likud Party, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, appointing Maoz to the position of deputy Minister. As part of the agreement, Maoz will head a new organisation focused on Jewish identity, which puts Maoz in a perfect position to advance the long-held dream of the religious block to transform the country into a theocracy.
Maoz lives in Silwan, a Palestinian neighbourhood the Old City of Occupied Jerusalem. He is said to have been active in the settler organisations, Elad (City of David Foundation) and Ateret Kohanim (a Jerusalem “land reclamation” association). Of himself, he has attested that he worked “to Judaise the Galilee, to Judaise the Negev, many settlements in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank].”
According to Haaretz, Maoz has been waiting for this moment since he established the Noam Party, at the behest of his rabbi, Zvi Yisrael Thau, in July 2019. The article traced Maoz’s ideological and spiritual roots, as well as the political roadmap for implementing their vision of creating a theocracy which puts Jewish laws “above all”. Israel is currently undergoing such a transformation, argued the author of the article, Mordy Miller, who is a doctoral candidate at Hebrew University.
The principal goal of Maoz’s doctrine is the political realisation of a Vienna born Rabbi, Zvi Thau. The turning point for Thau’s followers arrived in 2006, following the 2005 withdrawal from Gush Katif – the bloc of Israeli settlements in the Gaza Strip. They have embarked on a vigorous campaign ever since to ensure no Jewish only illegal settlements are demolished ever again. The result of the campaign and growth of the movement led to the founding of Noam. Members of the Party blame the decision to abandon Jewish only settlements in Gaza on irreligious forces which, in their eyes, include Jews they disagree with, not to mention Palestinians.
In their self-perception, Noam’s members believe they are a contemporary incarnation of the Maccabees: a group of Jewish rebel warriors who took control of Palestine. They see themselves as the “sons of light” who are doing battle on God’s side against the West and against its representatives, the left-wing in the media, in academia and in non-Orthodox Judaism.
Maoz has spoken about “purging, cleansing and toppling”. His aspiration is said to be “to purge the public atmosphere in our country of foreign influences, and to add more and more Judaism and purity to the soul of our country, the State of Israel”. The main objective of the Party, according to Miller, is to transform the public space in Israel into a religious space. “The state’s Judaism must be apparent in every corner of its life,” Maoz is reported saying. “We shall strengthen the image of the State of Israel as a Jewish state in all spheres. In all the public systems, in the public realm, we will see to it that the state’s Jewish identity will be clear, will be natural, will be simple, will fill our hearts with Jewish pride. That is what we are fighting for.”
In 2018, Israel adopted the so-called Nation State Bill which further entrench Jewish supremacy and racial discrimination against Palestinians in its constitutional law. The move was also seen by critics as another milestone in the creation of a Jewish theocracy in historic Palestine.