Thursday, December 01, 2005

Finally! A Response to the Diabolization...

Professor Stuart Cohen and Dr. Asher Cohen of Bar Ilan's Political Science Department have published a much needed (and long overdue) reaction to and analysis of the disparity between the realities in the Religious Zionist community and the way it is portrayed in public (especially media) discourse.

I would only add two points:

1) It can't be stressed enough that principled Right Wing politics can be based upon non-messianic considerations.

2) The diabolization of the religious community is part of a wide-ranging, post-Zionist kulturkampf.


Anonymous said...

comments on a rather good article, exposing certain misconceptions, along with drives them:

1. it still seems that 80% or so rz are opposed to the disengagement. for that high a number of jews to agree on an issue is rather significant.
2. there is a sense, certainly among rz, that the current state of israel is 'the last stop' for them. this, among other indicators, points to a sense of messianism; and why is that necessarily so bad?
just because one is a messianist does not mean that one is violent or does not participate in everyday societal activities like going to work or on vacation. listening to any number of non-zionist hareidi rabbis or even lay people one has the sense that they too believe we are living in 'the end of days.' so what?
3. we can NOT underestimate the influence of mercaz harav, writ large. its highly venerated leader was chief rabbi. it is they who are and have been responsible for 90+% of 'torat eretz yisrael,' that is, rz religious life and education in israel. their devotion to personal, communal, and national reliigous needs cannot be denied, and should be respected.
4. until a more temperate -- not just politically, but more generally as well -- nucleus that is willing to take up the challenge of supplying the rz world with activity and leadership ON ALL LEVELS, the rz world will be splintered along these lines, grosso modo: basically hareidi zionists, meaning hareidi in terms of isolation, but in terms of religio-political views extremist; and what we may call dati-light. the ramifications of this are for a different blog...

dati-light, of course, is a whole other blog...

Anonymous said...

1) The kulturkampf may not necessarily be "post-zionist". Ahad Ha'am is quoted as saying that the most important activity the cultural zionists need to enegage in within the zionist organization is to attack the religious zionists. This over 100 years ago.

2)I have to disagree with the authors' assesment that the trend towards "mized" religious/secular schools (and by extension communities ideoligically founded as such a la new the group in Nes Harim, Eschar, etc.) is a reaction to increased Torani education in the National Religious stream. It is really a form of assimilation, and an expected reaction on the part of a segement (hopefully small and not too influential) of the religious zionist community to the incessant attacks on them over the years by the majority culture. A typical reaction of minority groups everywhere - including the Jews throughout history.