This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

A hostile takeover of Zionism

Thanks to Crapsquire for the link.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/a-hostile-takeover-of-zionism/article1302318/


blankIsrael's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community has come a long way.

No longer are they the inward-looking anti-Zionists who only cared that the government provide them with money for their separate schools, welfare and exemptions from military service. These days, many of the Haredim – the word means “those who tremble” in awe of God” – have joined with right-wing religious Zionists to become a powerful political force.

They now are equipped to redefine the country's politics and to set a new agenda.

Two decades ago, they were confined mostly to a few neighbourhoods in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Today, they have spread throughout the country, in substantial numbers in several major communities, as well as building completely new towns only for their followers.

One Haredi leader who almost won Jerusalem's mayoralty race last fall, boasts that, within 20 years, the ultra-Orthodox will control the municipal government of every city in the country. And why not? Of the Jewish Israeli children entering primary school for the first time this month, more than 25 per cent are Haredi, and that proportion will keep growing. There are between 600,000 and 700,000 Haredim in Israel, and they average 8.8 children a family.

A decade ago, there were almost no Haredim in the West Bank settlements. Today, the two largest settlements are entirely ultra-Orthodox, and the Haredim are about a third of the almost 300,000 settlers.

Now that they have tightened the rules on who can be a Jew and have forced the public bus company to provide gender-segregated buses in many communities, a discouraged secular community is starting to emigrate.

Nehemia Shtrasler, a business and political columnist for the Haaretz newspaper, wrote this summer that the country is risking destruction. “We will survive the conflict with the Palestinians and even the nuclear threats from Iran,” he wrote. “But the increasing rupture between the secular and ultra-Orthodox communities in Israel will be the end of us.” Mr. Shtrasler said: “It's a struggle between two contradictory worldviews that cannot exist side by side.

Will Israel adhere to its founding secular values or will it become a theocratic Jewish state?

...
Continue reading
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/a-hostile-takeover-of-zionism/article1302318/

TAGGED: -, COMMENTARY, RELIGION


RELATED CONTENT

A few Catholics still insist Galileo...

Manya A. Brachear - Chicago Tribune 122 Comments

A few conservative Roman Catholics are pointing to a dozen Bible verses and the church's original teachings as proof that Earth is the center of the universe

Mormon Glenn Beck: Hurricane Irene and...

Elizabeth Tenety - Washington Post -... 86 Comments

Loving Christians respond to atheists

William Hamby - examiner.com 113 Comments

Prince Charles branded a 'snake oil...

Ian Sample - guardian.co.uk 50 Comments

UPDATE: FALSE STORY Jerusalem rabbis...

BBC - BBC News website 154 Comments

A Jewish rabbinical court condemned to death by stoning a stray dog it feared was the reincarnation of a lawyer who insulted its judges, reports say.

MORE

MORE BY PATRICK MARTIN

MORE

Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment