Category: Religion and State in Israel

The State of Israel’s identification with Jewish nationhood is under attack from large parts of the international community, and from Israeli Arabs, Palestinians, post-Zionist Jews, and anti-Jewish Jews. The “Jewish” side of the formulation “a Jewish and democratic state” is under internal assault as well.
Israelis posses the sense of righteousness, purpose and resolve so desperately needed by the West. Seder night rituals reinforce this. Fighting off global Islamic jihadist attacks will similarly require a renewal of Western resolve that can only come from profound intellectual and moral rearmament.
Another son of mine was drafted into the IDF this week. In this column I discuss his “conflict” between Torah study and army service, and the ideological choice he made in navigating commitments to both.
Religious Zionist yeshiva deans this week established an independent, conversion court, without Chief Rabbinate imprimatur. The ossified and extremist Rabbinate bureaucracy made this necessary, sadly. Unless the Rabbinate wakes up and “converts” itself into a more compassionate halachic religious services provider, it will be bypassed and wither away.
The wrecking of Gush Katif wasn’t really about peace with the Palestinians, but about the crushing of Religious Zionism. The expulsion was a trenchant exhibition of bleak and vengeful impulses that course through Israeli politics.
David M. Weinberg is a think tank director, columnist and lobbyist who is a sharp critic of Israel’s detractors and of post-Zionist trends in Israel. Read more »
A passionate speaker, David M. Weinberg lectures widely in Israel, the U.S. and Canada to Jewish and non-Jewish audiences. He speaks on international politics and Middle East strategic affairs, Israeli diplomacy and defense strategy, intelligence matters and more. Click here to book David Weinberg as a speaker