Warning: There's no real connection between this story and reality.
An Israeli academic will be stripped of his credentials, the Israeli education ministry decided today. The move followed several days of riots across the Jewish country with thousands coming out into the streets to demand the academic apologize for saying our Rabbi Moses and the Children of Israel were stoned when receiving the Ten Commandments on Mount Sinai. (see here)
"As the Middle East's only democratic state, we understand the necessity of academic freedom," said an Israeli education ministry spokesperson, "but even academics need to understand that there is a limit when insulting one's basic religious values." He added that Our Rabbi Moses was a revered figure in Jewish thought. 'Rabbi' is an ancient Hebrew word meaning 'teacher'.
Benny Shanon had published the study in the philosophy journal Time and Mind, based on his own dubious experiences with taking drugs. 100 Israeli parliamentarians participated in a protest march yesterday, demanding Shanon be punished for insulting the Jewish people, Our Rabbi Moses, and for causing such disorder.
Shanon is currently under arrest.
The story was republished by newspapers across the world with such headlines as "Moses: Let my people get high?" and "No wonder they wandered 40 years in the desert", setting off protests in various Jewish communities in the West as well. In Denmark moderate Jews marched through the streets of Copenhagen, demanding respect for their religious beliefs. "We're all for freedom of the press, but there must be a point where decency triumphs."
In France, local Jews converged around the Israeli embassy in a peaceful vigil. A local Jewish leader was quoted saying that in these tense times it is irresponsible for such studies to be published. "We're a peaceful people and a peaceful religion, this is an antisemitic attack against us."
Tensions increased in the Netherlands, where a Dutch politician planning to come out with a movie revealing 'the truth' about Our Rabbi Moses, was placed under house arrest by the authorities, for his protection. The movie soon to come out will reveal that Moses stuttered and was a wanted felon in the land of Egypt. In recent months the proposed movie had come under increasing attacks from both politicians and intellectuals, due to its (supposedly) highly volatile content.
Jews in the Netherlands had announced that they support freedom of speech, but had hinted they might not be able to stop the community's youth from displaying their anger, should the movie come out. Police were out in full force today to prevent any violence.
In Belgium the Jewish community was given unexpected support from a leading intellectual who said it was up to the Jewish community to pressure Israel to fall in line with the demands of the religious factions. "Such blatant disregard for academic freedom would of course be nonsensical in a Western modern country such as Belgium, but we expect Israel to uphold a higher standard. It's completely understandable that Jews who had been insulted would riot in the streets, burn flags and demand justice. How can anybody say academic freedom is more important?"