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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Read more at Times of Israel

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

The Evidence of BDS Anti-Semitism Speaks for Itself

Oct. 18 2019

Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs recently released a lengthy report titled Behind the Mask, documenting the varieties of naked anti-Semitic rhetoric and imagery employed by the movement to boycott, divest from, and sanction the Jewish state (BDS). Drawn largely but not exclusively from Internet sources, its examples range from a tweet by a member of Students for Justice in Palestine (the “world would be soooo much better without jews man”), to an enormous inflated pig bearing a star of David and floating behind the stage as the rock musician Roger Waters performs, to accusations by an influential anti-Israel blogger that Israel is poisoning Palestinian wells. Cary Nelson sums up the report’s conclusions and their implications, all of which give the lie to the disingenuous claim that critics of BDS are trying to brand “legitimate criticism of Israel” as anti-Semitic.

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Read more at Fathom

More about: Anti-Semitism, BDS, Roger Waters, Social media