In a withering j’accuse, Ha’aretz’s Bradley Burston makes the case that “while the Jewish state survived the war, Judaism as we knew it — Orthodox Judaism in particular — did not.”
If absolute occupation corrupts absolutely, no group would be more corrupted by Israel’s presence in the territories than rightist rabbis. Of course, that’s the last way they would see it. Cloaked in a shawl of ideological purity, spiritual erudition and lawyerly one-sidedness, right-wing rabbis went to work utterly convinced that they were the one last incorruptible group of Jewish leaders. With Messianic zeal, they set to dictating new commandments and enunciating new prohibitions, revolutionizing Judaism by casting the settlements as the building blocks of a Third Temple - all the while turning the settlement enterprise and territories as a whole into a new Golden Calf, a god to which the people as a whole would be forced to sacrifice.
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