Several hundred people living in Israel have decided to go to court in order to legalize their status in the nation. As Oded Carmeli openly states: “I belong to the Jewish nation. I have never belonged to the Jewish religion.” Israel law requires that if one wants to make clear she/he does not believe in God it is necessary to make a legal declaration of that intent. In other words, hundreds of “Jews” in Israel are now claiming to be “Jews” without believing in Jewish concepts of God.
Part of this protest stems from growing anger at the monopoly exerted in Israel by Orthodox rabbis who claim the right to decide who is or who is not a Jew. Their concept of Judaism differs fundamentally from beliefs of Reform Jews in America. It is time for Jews to identify with the Jewish heritage and culture without necessarily identifying with ancient ideas about an entity in the sky who is someone called, GOD.