A Nation Into a Tribe - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Yaakov Sullivan
    • 21.10.05 | 14:04 (IST)

    Strasler has painted a vivid picture of Israel today. He points out where and when the seeds were planted that turned the State of Israel into the nascent State of Judea. Critics on this site will be strident in their criticism: -these people only represent a small segment of the religious public, or, most of the religious soldiers participated in the withdrawal from Gush Katif, etc. The incidents Strasler relates in his article are just the beginning of a growing movement that is becoming more radical and active. And the response of the Israeli government is schezophrenic- with one hand they withdraw causing the State of Judea advocates to foam at the mouth, on on the other they initiate an expansion plan at unprecedented levels. When one third of the children of Israel live in poverty, when education is in a shambles and social services are descending to third world levels, when Israel's corruption ranking sinks deeper, you have rabbis at the Kotel jeering and assaulting their fellow Jews who obeyed the law (secular law as opposed to The Law). We see scenes of religious schoolgirls in the old city of Hebron humiliating Palestinian old women, pulling off their veils as they jeer and laugh at them. These are the leaders, who have turned Judaism from an ethical systme which gave the world the ethical basis for treating the stranger in our midst, into a tribal, visceral cult of triumph and superiority above all other values. And there is no one to stop them because they have been, for decades, coddled and financed by the same government agencies that they are now attacking as traitorous. And no other segment of the Israeli public has the level of zeal to confront them, in the schools, in the army or in the colonies. Tommorrow belongs to them and they are gloating as Israel continues to sink in the morass of a perverse fundamentalist nationalism.

    from the article: Preparing for the next war
    First published 00:00 21.10.05 | Last updated 00:00 21.10.05
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