Recent steps taken by the current Israeli government show that it is proceeding with consolidating the religious character and orthodox dimension of Israel, turning the country into an orthodox Jewish state. This has been facilitated by a set of laws and practices, which the Israeli government initiated in the public sphere and, more generally, in relevant policies.

Religionisation of Israel’s public sphere reflects on the relationship between religion and the state, but also undermines understandings of the status quo created by David Ben-Gurion shortly after the State of Israel was established. It also reflects on influence of the secular community in Israel and furnishes an opportunity to a small social group to manipulate and control the public sphere and lifestyle within the Israeli society. Religionisation further strains Israel’s relations with Jewish communities around the world, particularly in the USA, where most Jews are not orthodox.

Some believe that the religious character and orthodox dimension of Israel implies a strategic influence, particularly with regard to Israel’s relations with the Jewish people around the world Jewry. This will surely unfold over the upcoming days.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

MADAR CENTER

The Palestinian Forum for Israeli Studies (MADAR) is an independent research centre specialising in Israeli affairs, based in Ramallah, Palestine. MADAR was established in 2000 by a group of Palestinian intellectuals and academics, including the late poet Mahmoud Darwish, Dr. Lily Feidy, Dr. Ali Jarbawi, Dr. Ahmad Harb, Mr. Walid Al-Ahmad and Mr. Akram Haniyyeh. The centre was registered as a not-for-profit organisation with the Palestinian Ministry of Interior, and obtained a research centre’s operational licensing from the Palestinian Ministry of Information.

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