Mon Feb 11, 2013, 11:27 AM
Purveyor (29,432 posts)
It's The Settlers - Not The Ultra-Orthodox - That Threaten Israel Most
By Gideon Levy | Feb.10, 2013
Israel hates. First of all it hates Arabs, in a deep and purifying way. A mixture of dehumanization, fear and nationalism are at work in Israel. It also hates Muslims, even if they come from Chechnya. Israel hates migrants and refugees − especially if they are black − only a little less, and refers to them, diabolically, as “infiltrators.” And Israel also hates − but less − those within society who are different: first and foremost, the ultra-Orthodox.
Like every kind of hatred, hatred of the ultra-Orthodox has its sources, motives and reasons, only some of which are justified. Everything about the ultra-Orthodox is different − their language, values, culture and, of course, faith. They remind us of the Diaspora of our ancestors, which we want to forget. They themselves contribute to hatred toward them with ugly manifestations of violence toward those different from them and by their arrogance, as if their values are the only ones and the absolute ones, by their intolerance toward the customs of secular people and by their aspiration to force their customs on everyone else.
They are perceived as “parasites,” who live off society and do not serve in the army, almost a crime in Israeli society − they do not “share the burden.” The fact that, nevertheless, they are one of the two poorest groups in the country does not arouse any compassion or sympathy.
To the secular majority, which considers itself liberal, the ultra-Orthodox have only themselves to blame for their poverty, as if the secular poor people are not to blame for their poverty, as if the state does not have to take care of all its poor.
5 replies, 875 views
It's The Settlers - Not The Ultra-Orthodox - That Threaten Israel Most (Original post)
Response to Purveyor (Reply #2)
Mon Feb 11, 2013, 12:15 PM
oberliner (40,741 posts)
3. This piece is so digusting
The first paragraph is especially odious (and just plain inaccurate, the norm for him).
But, hey, he knows his audience, I guess.
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Mon Feb 11, 2013, 02:53 PM
Jefferson23 (30,099 posts)
4. Good question:
We should ask: how is it that the tribe of the ultra-Orthodox is ostracized, while the tribe of the settlers is glorified? Could it be that we lord it over the weak?
Response to Purveyor (Original post)
Tue Feb 12, 2013, 07:32 AM
LeftishBrit (37,926 posts)
5. This is behind a paywall so I could not read it fully
Firstly, I do think that the settlers, at least the ideological RW settlers who will not move on principle (some settlers are immigrants who live wherever they can afford to) pose a big danger to Israel. And may bring it down as a democracy in the end.
Secondly, many of the ultra-Orthodox men HAVE chosen not to work in the usual sense, and to spend their lives in religious pursuits, supported either by the state or by wives who earn the living while bringing up 9 kids (the latter describes some relatives of mine). If a few people choose such a lifestyle - not a problem; but I can understand that if there are a large number of such people, the secular taxpayers might become frustrated at having to pay for it in taxes, both in terms of welfare benefits, and in terms of dealing with the educational consequences of a significant number of people attending religious schools that do not teach them much of what is needed for living in a modern society.
Thirdly, I don't think that either group is glorified by the majority. Accepted or tolerated or enabled is not the same thing as 'glorified'.
Fourthly, as often, Levy goes over the top. 'Israel hates' - as though it's Israel's profession.