Will Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Continue to See Themselves as a People Apart?

Although David Ben-Gurion envisioned the Jewish state as a melting pot, with ingathered exiles merging together into a common Labor-Zionist culture, today’s increasingly conventional wisdom envisions a pluralistic society comprising various “tribes.” This view, as Yehoshua Pfeffer puts it, imagines “Arab sheikhs sitting side by side with ḥaredi scholars, feminist women next to settlers, and LGBT activists sharing a table with ḥasidic rabbis.” Yet Ḥaredim, even as they benefit from this multicultural arrangement, don’t subscribe to its underlying liberal assumptions. And that might be a good thing, Pfeffer argues:

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Read more at Tzarich Iyun

More about: Haredim, Israeli society, Judaism in Israel

Hamas Is Winning the War for Palestinian, and Israeli Arab, Hearts and Minds

While many in the West seem to think the current fighting in Israel is about housing policy, or human rights, or the selective blockade of the Gaza Strip, the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and on Palestinian social media makes clear that it is in fact about al-Aqsa mosque. This should come as no surprise: fabricated claims that “al-Aqsa is in danger” have been used to provoke anti-Jewish violence for a hundred years. In this particular case, explains Haviv Rettig Gur, both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party exploited the claim in their rivalry for Palestinian hearts and minds:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict