May his voice be heard and heeded - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Yaakov Sullivan
    • 01.08.05 | 15:21 (IDT)

    Rabbi Melchior is one of the founders of the religious party, Meimad, that offered an alternative view to the strident nationalism of the main religious Zionist parties. It was and remains very much a minority view within the religious public in Israel. Its ideas and philosophy are almost nonexistent within the religious nationalist sector in the diaspora. This movement toward fanaticism didnt start with the donning of orange, spitting at the police and IDF and spilling nails and ioil on the country's highways. Its roots are much deeper. These deep roots first began to sprout with vigour when Moshe Levinger moved into the Park Hotel in Hebron Pesach 1968, claiming that their intention was nothing more than to celebrate the festival in the sacred city of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs. it constinued with the inculcation of values that taught that only the Jews had rights in that town and everyone else (especially after 1929) was an enemy who should be driven out or made a vassal. The Palestinians remembered their own 1929- Deir Yassin. There it is to this day. Religion and nationalism wedded in a volitile concoction. And what this toxic concoction brewed was not simply voodoo or hocus pocus. It was an ideology taught in the schools, taught in the religious youth groups, incucated as virtue at the Shabbos table. It resulted in young Jewish girls mocking and taunting old Arab women, pulling off their veils, of yeshiva thugs destroying or vandalising Arab shops. And the Muslims, stoked up by their own form of religious zealotry responded in kind as they felt their town slipping away from them as they became more and more a caged population at the mercy of a couple of hundred Jewish zealots that made Levinger look like a Jewish Ghandi. This was not voodoo of some ridliculous pulsa denura ceremony bringing hte angle of death to the cursed ones doorstep. This was a messianic apocalyptic mysticism that has come to dominate the religious population, especially its youth, and to which the rationalism of Meimad is mostly powerless.

    from the article: The deep abyss of Israeli discourse
    First published 00:00 01.08.05 | Last updated 00:00 01.08.05
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