Most Israeli Jews Can’t Say If They’re More Israeli or More Jewish. And That’s a Good Thing

Sept. 17 2019

In their recent book #IsraeliJudaism, Camil Fuchs and Shmuel Rosner examine the perceptions and practices of Jewish Israelis regarding religion and identity. They find, among other things, that most, if asked whether they feel themselves to be Jews first and Israelis second or vice-versa, answer that they weigh both identities equally. Speaking with Rosner, the eminent legal and political theorist Ruth Gavison explains what this finding says about Israeli society and argues that, across the political spectrum, Israelis agree that the country should be Jewish; they disagree only about how much so and in what ways. Even growing numbers of Arab citizens have shown themselves willing to accept this premise. Gavison concludes by forcefully making the case that the Jewish state can best overcome its religious-secular divides if each side avoids attempts at compulsion. (Video, 25 minutes.)

 

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More about: Israeli politics, Israeli society, Judaism in Israel, Religion and politics

Is There a Way Out of Israel’s Political Deadlock?

On Tuesday, leaders of the Jewish state’s largest political parties, Blue and White and Likud, met to negotiate the terms of a coalition agreement—and failed to come to an agreement. If none of the parties in the Knesset succeeds in forming a governing coalition, there will be a third election, with no guarantee that it will be more conclusive than those that preceded it. Identifying six moves by key politicians that have created the deadlock, Shmuel Rosner speculates as to whether they can be circumvented or undone:

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More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli Election 2019, Israeli politics