29 January 2012

One man's nightmare is another man's dream

5 Shevat 5772

Gideon Levy, writing for Haaretz, editorializes about the recent results of the Israeli Democracy Institute poll showing that 80% of Israelis believe in G-d and 70% believe that Jews are The Chosen People. He means to be sarcastic and negative in his assessment, but it comes across to me as good news. His "us & them" mindset reminds me of the Erev Rav and their universal hatred of real Jews and Judaism.

God rules all in 2012 Israel, even the stateIsrael: Not what you thought, not what the world thought, not what Israelis imagine themselves to think. Israeli society isn't secular, it isn't liberal and it isn't enlightened.By Gideon Levy

God exists. Eighty percent of Israeli Jews can't be wrong. And it is precisely for that reason we must say: God protect us from the results of the poll (conducted by the Israel Democracy Institute's Guttman Center for Surveys and the Avi Chai Foundation ). While it is conceivably possible to deal with that burning, wholesale belief in the divine, what do we do with the "You chose us" part? Seventy percent of respondents said they also believed Jews are the Chosen People - and that frightening parameter is only on the rise.

...Even the religious character of the state, which is much less secular than we tend to think - no buses or El Al flights during Shabbat, no civil marriage, no unkosher hotels, a mezuzah on the doorjamb of nearly every home and a rising number of people who kiss it each time they enter or exit - all this can be explained by the survey data.

... From now on, it can no longer be claimed that the secular majority has acquiesced to the religious minority; there is no secular majority, only a negligible minority.

...We should admit the truth, which is that we are an almost religious society and a state that is almost based on religious law. There's no need to keep counting the number of people wearing kippot, headscarves or shtreimels. Bareheaded people are in the same camp: They accept the character of their state, where the religion is the state and the state is the religion, all mixed together. There's no need to keep being shocked by religious extremism - being religious, whether moderate or extreme, is all the same, and it's the majority here.

...From Bnei Brak to Mea She'arim, these Haredim are, to a large extent, us, just with different dress and languages - more extreme versions of the same belief.

...Perhaps it was inevitable. A state that arose on a certain territory and conquered another territory and has remained there nearly forever, all on the basis of Bible stories; a population that never decided whether it was a nation or a religion; and a state that purports to be a "Jewish state," even if no one has any idea what that means. All these cannot exist with no foundation - a chosen people that believes in its God. That is Israel, circa 2012. God have mercy on us.


Halevai!