Idan Eretz

July 24, 2017

How to Spread Liberty in a Progressive Environment

The only way in which we can achieve a sustainable level of liberty in our lifetime is by helping create a more liberty-oriented society. The political sphere is always fragile, constantly adapting to rapidly changing interests. Ideas, on the other hand, are far stronger. Once you’ve put a good idea in many people’s minds, it’s very hard to shake it out. Moreover, good and convincing ideas have a tendency to spread almost by themselves, traveling from one person to the next by agents of change, most of whom don’t even know they are. But YOU do, and this is the reason you are reading these lines. You want to change and spread the ideas of liberty and want to know how. It turns out that […]
May 22, 2017

How the Free Market Overcomes Religious Coercion in Israel

State-religion relations are a tough issue in Israel. Israelis come from very different religious backgrounds; from totally secular atheists to hardline ultra-orthodox and everything in between; and that’s only the Jews. This creates a lot of tension about the 70 year old compromise called “The Status Quo”. But in recent weeks, without any political action, something happened. Something big. “There is no public transportation on the Sabbath, the Jewish holy day of Saturday, in 95% percent of Israel” says Roy Schwartz Tichon, founder of “Noa Tanua” (Hebrew for Galilei’s “Yet it moves”). “That’s though 72% of the Israeli population supports public transportation on Saturday, polls says. But even if only one person wanted a ride and one wanted to offer it. How can the rest […]
April 8, 2017

Europe and Israel shouldn’t intervene in Syria

Yesterday morning, the US navy launched dozens of Tomahawk missiles, targeting airbases of the Syrian regime, as a retaliation for the chemical attack that happened a few days ago in Khan Shaykhun, killing 72. What is currently going on, and is it wise to intervene? Spoiler alert: it’s probably a bad idea. What started as peaceful demonstrations against Assad’s dictatorial regime in 2011, turned into a bloody civil war lasting to this day. This bloody struggle involves several rebel groups, which are all Sunni-dominated, taking up arms in order to fight against the Syrian government. Assad himself is an Alawite, a sect of Shia Islam, ruling a Sunni-majority nation. At first glance, it seems like an oppressed majority rising up against the tyrannical minority: a […]
March 18, 2017

LibertyCon Report, Day 1: Striving for Liberty for All on St. Patrick’s Day

The last 24 hours included three first times for me: My first time at LibertyCon, my first time flying to my destination alone, and my first time in Prague. One can imagine I was quite overwhelmed by all those firsts on my first day at LibertyCon 2017. On Thursday evening, after a long flight from Tel-Aviv through Istanbul, I finally arrived at the CERVO Institute in Prague, where we had our pre-social event. At the beginning, it was indeed overwhelming – unknown faces speaking foreign languages. But soon enough, I found some ridiculously cheap Czech beer, people I knew (from Israel and abroad), and shortly afterwards even people that I didn’t know, but with whom I found common ground quite easily. People who wanted to […]
March 12, 2017

Israel’s New Marijuana Bill: The Most Criminalizing Decriminalization Ever

After decades of prohibition since under British rule, the Israeli government approved the decriminalization of cannabis for recreational users. Hurray! Now hundreds of thousands of Israeli weed-smokers will no longer have to be afraid to smoke and grow marijuana in their own homes, right? Sadly, not really. It all started with one young member of the Knesset (Israeli parliament) named Sharen Haskel, a politician for the ruling Likud party, who adopted a suggestion from the pro-legalization movement and proposed it to the government.  The suggestion included the complete decriminalization of the consumption of cannabis, including the ability to legally own up to 15 seeds and one plant. A decent proposal for decriminalization indeed. But the Minister of Interior Security, Gilad Erdan (a known anti civil […]
January 30, 2017

The corruption allegation that could turn Israel’s politics upside down

Picture source: Flickr The corruption allegation that could turn Israel’s politics upside down   A corruption scandal broke out last week in Israel. Such allegations are usually not big news, but this time is different. The two most influential people in Israel were caught having a conversation that could take them both down, maybe reshuffling the entirety of Israeli politics. One is Benjamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister since 2009. Nobody in Israel’s political system is even close to his popular support and political skills. The other is Arnon (“Noni”) Mozes, publisher of the fiercely anti-Netanyahu newspaper, “Yedioth Ahronoth” (“latest news”). Their conversation was secretly recorded by Netanyahu’s head of office: records which were found during an unrelated police raid. To understand what they talked about […]
December 28, 2016

Israel Doesn’t Need Conscription

As the Swedish government plans to reintroduce conscription, and similar calls are heard in France and Lithuania, it’s time to look at where a long-time conscription is a harsh reality: Israel. Until recently, Israel had the third-longest conscription period of 3 years for men and 2 years for women, just after Eritrea (unlimited) and North Korea (10 years, probably). Just last year, the conscription period was reduced to 32 months for men, but with the price of raising it to 28 months for women. Israeli 18 year-olds are conscripted for one of the longest periods in the world. This, of course, is not true if the particular 18 years-old is an Arab, and ultra-orthodox Haredi, or a religious girl. All these groups are exempt for […]