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THE FUTURE OF ISRAEL January 6, 2012

Posted by wmmbb in Israel-Palestine.
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Every settler society is a set of social experiments.

Some experiments are abandoned along the way which sometimes turn into their opposite. For example, this could be said of the White Australia policy that became multiculturalism under the pressure of “populate or perish”. So what happened to the Kibbutz in Israel?

Israel has been under the same pressure to increase it population by migration, but since the collapse of the Soviet Union that has meant a large increase of settlers from that area. This would appear to have two major effects. It has increased the support for right wing parties, although the current government based on proportional representation in the Knesset includes the Labor Party. The second effect is that the population is more polarized on religious lines with the secondary effect resulting from neo-liberal economic policies, Israel is more polarized economically as the demonstrations last year appeared suggested.

Thus, rather than the existential threat it may well be the internal threat of division and disunity that is driving Israel’s, and thereby Washington’s, policy of military confrontation.

Allyn Fisher-Ilan for Reuters (via AntiWar.com) reports:

Israeli society could be torn apart if disputes between ultra-Orthodox and less observant Jews continue to heat up, Israel’s religious affairs minister said on Wednesday.

In a telephone interview, Yaacov Margy, who also serves as director-general of Shas, a religious party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, condemned an incident last month in which zealots seeking gender separation spat at a schoolgirl they accused of dressing immodestly.

That attack was disclosed by an Israeli television station, whose report on the violence stunned many in the Jewish state, where concerns over religious coercion are mounting among its mainly secular population.

Margy said such incidents and ultra-Orthodox protests – in the latest, on Saturday, children were dressed as Nazi Holocaust victims to suggest public persecution of the community – had been overblown in the media.

“If they ganged up on an 8-year-old girl, this is something that must be uprooted. We have a police force, courts – anyone who is violent must be dealt with. But we don’t have to go crazy,” he said.

Margy accused media outlets of fuelling the religious-secular dispute by covering in detail ultra-Orthodox protests.

“If we have a problem in Israeli society we should deal with it through dialogue,” he said. “I call on all people in the media and the extremists on both sides, crazy people: ‘climb down off the roof’.”

Euronews provided a report of events:

The problem is that the representatives of the “crazy people” who want footpaths and buses to be segregated are in the government.

Israel in so many ways is doing the job of delegitimating itself. Perhaps it is time to remodel and reframe the experiment, perhaps along the lines of an inclusive multi-ethnic and religiously tolerant society that the would really slay the ghosts and nightmares of the European discrimination from it was formed.

ELSEWHERE:

At Tikkun Daily, Jeff Pozmantier reports among other news that Israel again rejects calls for a movement toward peace.

Norman Finkelstein believes he has a chance to get to “the rendezvous ¬†of victory” via following the Gandhian road of politics. He was speaking at Nottingham University in November 2011:

Part I:

Part 2:

 

 

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