They needed the labor. So, the arrangement was to create this fictitious identity called religious Zionism , an oxymoron and make them believe they held real power. It a stretch to imagine it, but Netanyahu’s grandfather was a rabbi and was sermonizing Zion from the pulpit. And Netayahu’s father Benzion was one of the early persuaders of revisionism, which then became interwoven in part with a messianic dimension that the founding of the political state was a necessary first step in the redemption. It all began to fall apart when religious zionists tried to begin exercising power through the pursuit of policies autonomous to those of their alleged partners.
Then it dawned they were at best tolerated guests, cannon fodder and a tampon of settlement between the Arabs and the well-to-do sectors on the coast. In pursuing their settlement activities,a mission, religious Zionists were perhaps trying to impress the power elite that they merited a seat on the bus, but by the Gush Emunim, the block of the faithful, the old-line Zionists were letting go of the original pioneering Zionist values. In fact, it then began that the religious became a pain in the butt to the ruling class. These religious settlers soon came to realize that their belongingness was of a precariousness and conditionality that they soon comprehended. The Zionism is racism slogan is true to a point; the edge of racism and prejudice against their fellow brethren.
The decline of the Zionist ideals, the socialist utopia exposed the phoniness of the myth of a shared dream of Jewish empowerment. The Torah may be democratic, a democratic blueprint of the universe as the religious claim, but the state was under so such pretenses. The only remnants was the fringe goods of social Darwinism and its sliding scale of human value and the higher up the ladder, the more eroded the Jewish identity. The underlying ethos that is still pushed, is the old existential carrot that any threat to the secular establishment to carry on business as usual is a threat to the state itself. What else could these religious zionists have expected? The post WWII immigrants from the DP camps and concentration camps were treated as crap, called “soap” and despised as the split off side of themselves they could not acknowledge. The religious Zionists could at one time take solace in that the ultra-orthodox rejectors of Zionism were the object of abuse, but they themselves are now under attack; the head of Meretz, Zehava Gal-On called New York supporters of the settlers, “jew boys” , the former head of Mossad Meir Dagan said the religious are the problem today, Tzipi Livni’s parting speech took a pot shot at them, Gideon Levy has made a career of pissing over them, and so it goes. They are afraid. And the demographics of the secular compare unfavorably.
So, a particularly undemocratic ruling class now invokes “democracy” to delegitimize those who values are not in accordance with an “enlightened” ruling class who have a passive-aggressive attitude varying from the condescending and exclusionary to the threatening and violent as in Amona. The analogy is to compare them to the established bourgeoisie in France and Germany dealing with all the Jews moving there to escape the pogrom in the East. Jewish solidarity is based on the values of the pocketbook,which translates into a little real empathy or will to engage in their struggle. Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo’s incendiary remarks that Olmert and some close to him should hang on the gallows fro treason after Gush Katif, is not as wild as was made to be; persecuted people will only take so much. When the religious and other marginalized start burning down the tony neighborhoods of North Tel-Aviv there might be some real changes. Especially if the comfortable owners and their families are in their dwellings. “And after all we’ve done for them! So ungrateful!”…
In Israel, the “jewish” Jews, often religious or observant are often painted as an homogenous powerful mob plotting to steal and rape a “pure” ruling class of its rightful power and resources. Very much the same ideology used against them as in the Nazi Germany or Stalinist Russia. The jew is still caught between a rock and a hard place, between the tree and the bark: they are unpatriotic wimps for refusing military service and militarist usurpers if they engage in military duties; anti Zionists with no connection to the land or too Zionistic, they practice arcane tribal rituals and they have undue influence over the broader society. And they are clannish. Maybe they should be put on cattle cars and sent somewhere for their own good?
And you know where this is going: These yids are restless Messianists; and… yes they killed the messiah, so their destiny is to wander the earth eternally. The major swing incident in the relationship between religious Zionists and the secular elite was the signing of the Oslo accords. This arrangement was a ruling class initiative, dubious merits aside, the thinking reflected out-of-touch upper-strata feelings, patronizing at best, that the Arabs aspirations were not serious and a few extra material goods would pacify the ardent nature; and, significantly, the elite gave little credence to the large swath of citizens that would pay the price with the ensuing violence.
The blunder, to be expected, was instead of communicating what they saw as benefits of the accords, they spent time and money countering opposition to them using their usual modus operandi of disregarding civil liberties. All the government powers were marshaled towards threatening and blackening opponents, and more crucially, by concealing damaging information that exposed the dark underside of the game and underscored how alienated people were from the secular ruling elite. But the opposition at the time was divided still somewhat caught in the grip of forces they could not quite comprehend that wedged an ideology that sanctified the Zionist establishment against their gut instinct, making them a bit tormented if not confused, drugged for too long by the policies of accommodation that seems to grant the right of the secular ruling class to exploit state power, and by extension, themselves as opposed to a more dissident and growing segment that denies the elite that right.