Secular And Orthodox Jews Battle In Jerusalem

Discussions concerning Israel ordinarily revolve around issues pertaining to the Jewish-Muslim conflict and less attention is paid to the growing war between secular and Orthodox Jews for control of the nation. In the battle as to which groups would gain victory in the Jerusalem mayor contest, the city was treated to a blatant attempt by the Orthodox candidate to make clear he has no sympathy for secular Jews. In a statement caught on tape, Rabbi Meir Porush, said his goal was wiping out the secular opposition. “Within ten years there will not be secular candidate at all in any city, maybe in an abandoned village.” Secular Jerusalem residents were furious and some already are organizing to halt construction of an Orthodox kindergarten in west Jerusalem. “Kiryat Yovel has been a pluralistic place but now it is changing” as Orthodox residents attempt to impose their religious beliefs on secular residents.

Orthodox Jews account for about 25% of the electorate but they mobilize at election time and get out the vote for their candidates. As Jews argue, Muslim Palestinian residents are facing constant pressure to move and their future in Jerusalem will be doubtful if the Orthodox gain more power in Israel.