It’s the End of Jerusalem as We Know It, and Israelis Feel Fine

In an anguished column, Ha’aretz’s Uzi Benziman warns that Jerusalem — Israel’s capital and the spiritual heart of world Jewry — is being ceded to its ultra-Orthodox population:

Why should it matter that Jerusalem is becoming increasingly ultra-Orthodox? Well, for starters, there’s the matter of Israel’s capital being dominated by a population that is, for the most part, either non-Zionist or anti-Zionist and, by and large, doesn’t serve in the Israeli military. Then, there’s the fact that the ultra-Orthodox community hasn’t been the most tolerant steward of the city, whether it was the ugly resistance to gay pride events in Jerusalem or the ridiculous insistence that young girl dancers cover up at the celebration for the city’s new Santiago Calatrava bridge.

But Benziman directs most of his anger, not at Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox community, but rather at the larger Israeli public, which, he suggests, seems remarkably indifferent to Jerusalem’s fate. Perhaps they forgot the words of the Psalmist: “If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand wither, let my tongue cleave to my palate if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy.” The ultra-Orthodox, it seems, have not forgotten.

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It’s the End of Jerusalem as We Know It, and Israelis Feel Fine

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