Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Orthodox and Israeli: When the Two Don't Mix

This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read. A couple of excerpts are below; go read the whole thing on WorldNet Daily.

Aaron Klein is hardly the first Orthodox Jew to discover that sometimes it's difficult being a religious Jew in the Jewish state. An Israel Broadcasting Authority crew traveling toward Kfar Maimon to cover the events surrounding the March to Gaza last summer was stopped en route by police for a routine inspection. One crew member, an Orthodox man wearing a yarmulke, was instructed to step out of the vehicle. Questioned about the purpose of his presence, he explained that he was a member of the film crew. He displayed his Government Press Office press credentials, but police continued to suspect his motives for traveling to Kfar Maimon.

[…] Asked to explain the institutionalized anti-religious practices he's encountered, Aaron replies, "It's the new nature of the cultural war in Israel. The great divide used to be the so-called right wing versus the so-called left wing. Essentially, whether or not to give up land to the Palestinians. Now the mask is coming off and the real battle is starting to be waged openly – religious nationalism versus anti-religious post-Zionism.

"More simply, is Israel supposed to be a Jewish state based on religious ideals or will it be a state like all others that just happens to be comprised mostly of Jews? At its core, it is what all the land withdrawals and proposed land withdrawals are about, and it's what my 'yarmulke problems' are about. That is the fight I am witnessing here. The victor will determine the future of Israel and the Jewish people."

Lest we shake our heads in wonder, let’s remember that the same process is going on more slowly here. The worst you can currently expect as an American Christian is to get laughed at on occasion, but it is all too possible that things may get a whole lot worse in the next decade or two. All we really have to do is sit around in our comfort and let it happen.