It looks like my homeland of Vermont outside the windows of our Jerusalem apartment this morning. At least six inches of snow blanket the city and gigantic fluffy flakes are still pouring out of the sky. I hear it’s the biggest snow storm to hit the Holy City in 20 years.
The scene fits nicely with today’s must-read on Israeli politics, which comes from David Horovitz, editor of the Times of Israel. He tells his fellow Israelis that they’re going to wake up to a new reality after the January 22 national election.
A political shift has occurred in the Jewish State. Not a tectonic transformation of the right versus left divide. The polls suggest that fault line remains unchanged. But what Horovitz is talking about is a move on the Israeli right further rightward.
Curiously, the current right-wing prime minister – Benjamin Netanyahu – who’s assembled the country’s most right-wing coalition government – is going to be a moderate in the new Israeli politics. The actor who best exemplifies Israel’s “new right” at the moment is Naftali Bennett. As Horovitz writes:
In the new Israel of 2013, furthermore, kippa-wearing Bennett is the monopolistic political face of religious Zionism. The ideologically diverse National Religious Party has been entirely superseded by this new incarnation. And there is emphatically no place in our new Knesset for the dovish religious Zionist politics emblemized by the likes of ex-minister and Meimad MK Rabbi Michael Melchior. In our dawning new era, Orthodox Zionism is now all but synonymous with pro-settlement activism and advocacy, championing and concretizing the IDF’s 1967 liberation of the Jewish people’s historic Judean and Samarian territory.
For more on Bennett, listen to my profile story about him that aired earlier this week.