Bnei-Barak

Today in Brenai-Barak we visited many things, one of them being an Orthodox Jewish school.  I thought this school really shows the contrast between what we saw today and what the rest of our experience has been like.  As our guide pointed out the bricks and iron rods on the top of the building are in a European style, and I think the top half of the building in general looks like a Gothic Cathedral more than anything else.  This is a prime example of the cleavages in Israeli society.  Orthodox Jews are much different than Tel-Aviv Jews (generalizing).  This imported European culture I just one example.  They act differently, wear different clothes, follow different rules, live secluded lifestyles, etc.  This is very important when it comes to politics.  The societies of Tel-Aviv and of Bnei-Barak are vastly different, so when it comes to the Arab-Israeli conflict, we should not assume their preferences will be the same.

 

This second picture was taken in one of the neighborhoods of Bnei-Barak.  I picked this because it shows the secluded nature of the city itself.  Something that is a common criticism of American immigration today is that immigrants don’t seem to assimilate into current culture, but rather live by themselves, keep their own languages, etc.  It was really interesting to see this in Israel because I don’t really associate Jews in Israel as immigrants however, in this case, many people living here were indeed immigrants from Europe or elsewhere.  I thought that seeing this in Israel was something that was very interesting and the effects of this orthodox lifestyle were equally as interesting.  Regardless of the religious merit, these people are not traditionally educated, yet vote.  They also don’t hold jobs (the men) and so they represent a huge drain on society in an economic sense.  Therefore, the orthodox community lives in a delicate balance with the state, yet because of coalitions, they have a sizeable effect on political preference.

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