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Tel Aviv declares UDI

For those not in the know, UDI was made famous by the late Ian Smith Prime Minister of Rhodesia from 1964 to 1979. (Later Rhodesia, named after Britain’s Cecil Rhodes, became Zimbabwe.) In November 1965, following a prolonged dispute with the UK government, Smith announced UDI - a Unilateral Declaration of Independence.

And now, according to Dr. Shuki Friedman*, The State of Tel Aviv is founded. Tel Aviv has declared its own UDI from Israel’s central government.

In his opinion piece published in Israel Hayom (June 24, 2020), Dr. Friedman writes “Tel Aviv wants to set its own policies, regardless of what the rest of the nation desires. It will go it alone, but will still take funds from the national government.”

Like Rhodesia more than 50 years ago, will Jerusalem implement sanctions against Tel Aviv?

What both surprised me and pleased me was the fact that this opinion piece was published in Israel Hayom which, funded by Sheldon Adelson, has in the past been a stance supporter of Benjamin Netanyahu. And Dr. Friedman’s piece could and will be construed by many as being subversive. It’s welcoming to see Israel Hayom supporting both free-speech and the Fourth Estate.

No doubt if Tel Aviv mayor, Ron Huldai, is serious in his intention of “going it alone”, while I suspect the majority of Tel Aviv resident and those in the cities close to Tel Aviv, will rejoice, the exception being Bnei Brak, it’s questionable how Bibi’s poodles will react to this slap in the face.

Watch this space to see if June 24 becomes Tel Aviv’s Independence Day?

*Dr. Shuki Friedman is the director of the Center for Religion, Nation and State at the Israel Democracy Institute and a member of the Peres Academic Center Faculty of Law.


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