Religionization in IsraelRaz Saker Barzilay
journalism, satirical TV shows and news magazines. Religionization is mentioned again and again in discussions about women’s exclusion
In recent years, it seems that religionization – a word officially coined by the Hebrew Language Academy for the first time in 2010 – has taken over the public discourse (Peri, 2012) and has become a buzzword in small talk, journalism, satirical TV shows and news magazines. Religionization is mentioned again and again in discussions about women’s exclusion, rabbis’ statements, educational programs, disputes about football games or governmental infrastructure work in the public space on Saturdays, the recruitment of ultra-orthodox Jews to the army and more. Traditionally, these issues have been seen as part of the familiar struggle between secular and religious Jews in Israel, which revolves around the “status-quo” and is normally regulated by compromise. Yet various developments, which have to do with the main agents of change (religious Zionist and right-wing secular politicians), arenas (the entire public sphere with emphasis on Jewish national identity) and actions (acts?) of strategy (strategic acts?) (an overall hegemonic change), imply some deeper and wider changes in the role and position of Jewish religion in Israel that demands more investigation, and carries significant implications over the state image and its future.
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