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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The religious-conservative insanity of the American right

Polls in Israel disclose that that something like 80% of Israelis oppose war with Iran because, well, Israelis have no desire whatsoever to explode the Middle East into a hellish regional war. Therefore, no one should be surprised to see an Israeli newspaper express valid concerns about America's religious right and its religious extremist counterparts in Israel.
Liberal Jews in the U.S. are doubly fearful - of the messianic insanity now spreading in American politics, of its Israeli version and, most of all, of the link between the two....A huge community of secular, traditional, Reform, Conservative and Modern Orthodox Jews is witnessing two political systems that have broken the rules and are working with what looks to them like a worrying lack of restraint. They believe that the connection between the evangelical extremists and the settler extremists, which is being forged over the heads of the American public (and behind the backs of the Israeli public ), has long since passed the bounds of legitimacy - in the huge budgets being invested in it and the brainwashing that is following in its wake. The way in which Netanyahu is speaking directly to the American right - in what is proving to be a cynical bypassing of the fragile dialogue between Jerusalem and Washington - is arousing frustration here. Human rights organizations, liberal communities, academics and public figures are all expressing dissatisfaction and despair in light of the Haredi-religious-ultra-nationalist extremism in Israel, and the strengthening of the connection between it and ultra-nationalist, white Christianity and extreme right-wing and extreme ultra-Orthodox Jewry in the United States.
Read the rest here 

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