August 22, 2019

The Troubled Plight of the Israeli Centrist

“What awaits, say, a young humanist religious Zionist who is revolted by racism as he stands in the privacy of his neighborhood ballot box on Sept. 17? Which Zionist party represents his religious and universal values? After all, his own brand of Zionism is alien to that of the two ultra-Orthodox parties, Shas and Yahadut HaTorah. The newly minted leftist Democratic Camp does not speak to his Jewish values, and the alliance on the political right features Rabbi Rafi Peretz, a self-declared homophobe. For that party, as for the Likud, territorial compromise is akin to worshiping idols.

Until the 1984 elections, our guy could have voted for the National Religious Party led at the time by Yosef Burg. Burg’s grandson, Hillel Ben-Sasson, the son of former Knesset member from centrist Kadima Menachem Ben-Sasson, is miles away in his views from the current arch-right messianic mutation of the old Mizrahi movement and National Religious Party, known these days as the “United Right.”

Ben-Sasson’s sister is a loyal Meretz voter (Tzvia Greenfield was the first and last religious Meretz Knesset representative), but the political left’s anti-clerical stances distance him it. The Arab-Jewish Hadash Party represented his universal values before it hooked up with other Arab parties to form the Joint List in 2015.”

Read more

JJ Editor's Picks

"The United States and Russia are entering a new arms race, and the costs aren’t just monetary. On August 8, Russian civilians around the remote village of Nyonoksa found themselves downwind of a military nuclear propulsion experiment gone wrong..."

"I don't know about you, but for me "Having more people run for president and effectively doubling the number of primary contests" is not up there with "Michigan beating Notre Dame in the playoffs" and "A new deluxe edition of Barbara Bush's..."

"A growing body of research suggests that, rather than posing a threat to individual wellbeing, adopting a more sustainable lifestyle represents a pathway to a more satisfied life. Numerous studies have found that people who purchase green..."

"What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.” Publicly laughing at your..."

"The yield curve’s inverted! The yield curve’s inverted! That was the news I awoke to last Wednesday on CNBC as the 10 year Treasury note yield dipped below the 2 year yield for the first time since 2007. That’s the sign everyone has been waiting..."

"Even a casual observer of the entertainment industry knows that Hollywood is hooked on established intellectual property at the expense of original ideas and awash in more money than it knows how to sensibly spend. But three stories about the..."

"One of the formative texts of the Safed myth, which first portrayed the town as a unique place and which was responsible for spreading word of it all around the Jewish world, is the four letters that Rabbi Solomon Shlumil of Dreznitz sent, in..."

"There are lots of reasons to patent something. The most obvious one is that you’ve come up with a brilliant invention, and you want to protect your idea so that nobody can steal it from you. But that’s just the tip of the patent strategy iceberg..."