Is the Antagonism Between Israel’s Secular and Orthodox Jews a Form of Anti-Semitism?

Is the Antagonism Between Israel\'s Secular and Orthodox Jews a Form of Anti-Semitism?A question I received: You once explained that anti-Semitism comes from the subconscious feeling that the nations of the world have towards Israel, since Israel isn’t fulfilling its function and is hence preventing the world from being happy. Is this similar to the way many secular people from the nation of Israel hate the Orthodox, since they don’t do what they are meant to do?

My Answer: The secular Jews of Israel hate the Orthodox because:

  • The Orthodox Jews evade army service, while everyone else is required to serve;
  • Religion intervenes in politics in order to gain government resources and privileges;
  • The Orthodox blatantly express their proud and arrogant attitude toward the secular Jews, because they feel like they are doing God’s will and are special, and hence everyone should be grateful to them for their lifestyle.

This phenomenon is typical only in Israel, where it emerged as a result of the religious, political and social pressure. It is certainly inflicting great harm to the religion, although the religion itself bears no relation to this phenomenon. Never in our history did the masses experience a religious dictate, because we never held national authority but were governed by other nations.

In countries where religion is entirely separate from the government, there is no possibility for religion to be imposed on its citizens as it is in Israel. Hence, in those countries, the relationship between the secular and religious Jews is amiable, or at least not hostile.

Based on the above, we can see that this phenomenon differs from anti-Semitism at the root.

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