The disestablishment of religion in Israel?

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Martin Edelman published an interesting article, ”A Portion of Animosity: The Politics of the Disestablishment of Religion in Israel,” in the respected journal Israel Studies, Vol. 5, no. 1 (Spring 2000): 204-227. Here he observes that “the emergent political culture has fueled a major culture clash, bordering on a kulturkampf, over the role of Orthodox Judaism in the polity. Israel’s Orthodox communities seek to preserve the status quo, while its non-Orthodox Jewish citizens increasingly seek to promote religious pluralism.” It is no surprise that the author links this clash to “the Americanization of Israel’s political culture.” My question is, Can Orthodox Jews ever be expected to grow up? To internalize rather than externalize their orthodoxy for the sake of the greater good — enabling peace in the Holy Land? The same question can be asked of unreconstructed, radical Muslims or any other fanatics. What is more valuable for the children of Abraham? Eventual martyrdom for the sake of religious purity, or genuine love of one’s neighbor right now?

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