Israeli TV show puts wall between secular and ultra-Orthodox Jews

secular versus orthodox jews

The cast of Autonomies. Photograph: Keshet International. Suggested reading: CNN Documentary: Ultra-orthodox Jews and Israel’s Struggle with Secularism

Source: The Guardian

By Oliver Holmes, who is the Jerusalem correspondent for the Guardian. Previously based in Bangkok, he has reported across the Middle East and Asia. Twitter @olireports

‘This is the reality that currently exists in Israel,’ says the creator of Autonomies

War rages in the heart of the Middle East. Jerusalem is captured. Concrete walls go up, and a deep distrust spreads across the holy land.

The well-worn tale is used as the backdrop to multiple Israeli television dramas. Yet for one show, it is not Arabs and Jews who are doing the fighting, but Jews and Jews.

Currently touring film festivals across the world, the six-part series Autonomies envisions a clash between secular Jews and the deeply religious ultra-Orthodox, or Haredi, Jews.

In this vision, set in the near future, civil war has cut the land into two countries. The coastal State of Israel is nonreligious, with the cosmopolitan city of Tel Aviv as its capital. Jerusalem is a walled, autonomous city-state, run by Haredi rabbis.

At first glance dystopian, the show is in fact an artistic extrapolation of real-life rifts in Israeli society. Many Israelis increasingly see secular-Haredi disaccord about the future of the state as a greater concern than the Palestinian issue, and fear it could tear the country apart from the inside.

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Suggested reading

CNN Documentary: Ultra-orthodox Jews and Israel’s Struggle with Secularism

Categories: Judaism, Secularism, The Muslim Times

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