Cover Story: Jerusalem’s Real Divide

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With the Mideast peace process in a state of collapse, a new existential clash looms over Israel — and Palestinians aren’t involved. In this week’s issue of TIME magazine, Jerusalem bureau chief Karl Vick outlines the sectarian war consuming this ancient holy city: a conflict between Ultra-Orthodox and secular Jews. Vick tells the tale through one Ultra-Orthodox recently arrived in Jerusalem and another secularist seeking to stem the tide. He writes:

Both men own apartments in a neighborhood called Kiryat Yovel, a seemingly serene urban glade that is sizing up as the Somme or perhaps Little Big Horn. In a city of almost 800,000 people, Kiryat Yovel may be the last stand for Jews like Pinchasi, seculars who for decades have been fleeing the city in droves. Some 20,000 have left in the past seven years alone, reducing the share of the population who wear their faith lightly from a 37% plurality to a 31% minority, the same percentage as the ultra-Orthodox, but the number of ultra–Orthodox is rising. (About 35% of Jerusalem is Muslim Palestinian, with the remainder Christian or undeclared.)

It’s a flight much of Israel is watching with concern bordering on alarm. The ultra-Orthodox are the fastest growing population in a Jewish state long governed by seculars but lately grappling with just how Jewish it wants to be. Not three months after Benjamin Netanyahu assembled what was called a broad coalition of extraordinary stability, it flew apart over the question of what to do about the ultra-Orthodox. The centrist Kadima party returned to opposition after Netanyahu refused to alienate the religious parties by requiring their youth to serve in the military. Draft avoidance is just one privilege. The ultra-Orthodox, whose hermetic lifestyle may be based on preoccupation with the next world but whose political clout defines savvy in this one, also enjoy subsidies for child care, education and housing. The community’s power only grows with its numbers. Uncontained, it stands to fundamentally alter Israel’s identity.

Read the full story here.

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SarMos
SarMos

What a tidy little abstract of an otherwise anti-Semetic and disturbing article. I am not Jewish, my radar is not honed in on stories about Israel. I was just leisurely reading through Time this weekend and got smacked in the face by this piece of trash. Vick even goes as far to compare the "muscular" secular Jewish man with the "scrawny scholar" of Europe's "ghettos." Physical stereotypes of Jews in European ghettos... are you kidding me!? This is unreal! Very, very uncool Time.

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Just when you thought TIME couldn't sink any lower than its last cover story on Israel....

eileen fleming
eileen fleming

On May 28, 1993 Ariel Sharon explained: "The terms 'democracy' or 'democratic' are totally absent from the Declaration of Independence. This is not an accident. The intention of Zionism was not to bring democracy, needless to say. It was solely motivated by the creation in Eretz-Isrel of a Jewish state belonging to all the Jewish people and to the Jewish people alone. This is why any Jew of the Diaspora has the right to immigrate to Israel and to become a citizen of Israel."

On page 74 of “An Israeli in Palestine: Resisting Dispossession, Redeeming Israel” by Jeff Halper, an American Israeli and co-founder and coordinator of Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Professor of Anthropology, he explained:

"An ethnocracy is the opposite of a democracy, although it might incorporate some elements of democracy such as universal citizenship and elections. It arises when one particular group-the Jews in Israel, the Russians in Russia, the Protestants in pre-1972 Northern Ireland, the whites in apartheid South Africa, the Shi’ite Muslims in Iran, the

Malay in Malaysia and, if they had their way, the white Christian fundamentalists in the US-seize control of the government and armed forces in order to enforce a regime of exclusive privilege over other groups in what is in fact a multi-ethnic or multi-religious society. Ethnocracy, or ethno-nationalism, privileges ethnos over demos, whereby one’s ethnic affiliation, be it defined by race, descent, religion, language or national origin, takes precedence over citizenship in determining to whom a county actually 'belongs.'"

Jacob Blues
Jacob Blues

Gee I guess the US wasn't meant to be democratic either.  Go check out our own Declaration eileen and you won't find the term democracy or democratic in the text.

Alex_Cheshire
Alex_Cheshire

 Having seen what's going on in Florida with their electoral role, you have to wonder how democratic the USA is.

Yeshuratnam
Yeshuratnam

The trouble with the Middle East is that

Muslims, Christians and Jews have belonged to this region and have fought for

territorial control for thousands of years. The danger is when excessive power

falls in the hands of extremists groups. The extremist elements of Islam --

Hezbollah, Hamas and al-Qaida -- are in ascendancy now and the heart of their

mission is the same: destruction of the Israeli state and all infidels. That

means Jews, Arab Christians such as Nadine, Buddhists and Sunni Arabs. To

murder a non-Muslim is a sacred duty of the extremists and they believe that by

killing non-Muslims they get a comfortable passage to Paradise. With this

mindset and with this philosophy, Palestinians view Jerusalem's Real Divide.