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What’s Next for Liberalism in Israel?

The following is a transcript of Episode 61 of the For Heaven’s Sake Podcast. Note: This is a lightly edited transcript of a conversation, please excuse any errors. 

Donniel: My name is Donniel Hartman and I’m the president of the Shalom Hartman Institute, and this is For Heaven’s Sake, a podcast from the Hartman Institute’s. iEngage Project. Our theme for today is what do we do tomorrow? Or are we ready to even think about what we do tomorrow?

In this edition of For Heaven’s sake, Yossi Klein Halevi, senior research fellow at the Institute here in Jerusalem, and Elana Stein Hain, director of the Hartman faculty in North America, and we’ll explore together issues central to Israel and the Jewish world. 

Today we will continue to discuss the aftermath of the elections in Israel, concentrating on what we have to do tomorrow, or are we ready to even think about that? Like many in the liberal Jewish camp, after the election results were announced, I was deeply saddened and afraid and, and in many ways I was also mourning.

I was saddened at the loss of what I believed to be an ideal coalition and afraid of what Netanyahu Haredi Smotrich Ben Gvir coalition would do to Israel. I went into a form of mourning. But the week of shiva is over and it’s time to begin to think about tomorrow. But the reality is, is that while the week of shiva is over in our tradition, there’s also morning, a 30 day mourning, there’s also an 11 month mourning.

So the reality is, is that shiva is not the only focus. And I remember when I was mourning, um, my father alav hashalom’s death, one of the things. I appreciated most, shiva was shiva. It is, it has its intensity and power, but in our tradition, you don’t shave. Men have this, um, you don’t shave for 30 days.

And one of the things that it enabled me to do is that after I got up from shiva, it enabled me to stall. When people would see me, no one would expect, when they say, Donniel, how are you? No one expect me to say, Fine, thank you. I had more time and more room. It’s just like I could walk. It’s, I didn’t have to do that crap. How are you? Everything okay. Like no one said to me, Everything okay Donniel, they saw like, it was, it was noticeable. 

And the dynamic of seven days, 30 days, a year is something for us to think about. Now Israel today, as everybody now knows, and all of our listeners, you’re following and you’re listening to the news and you’re getting the statistics. We know that statistically Israel’s divided between two camps. 

There was maybe, what, 1800 votes between one camp and the other camp, and our version of the electoral college was parties who have to pass a threshold, but that doesn’t matter. The reality is it was a fair election and Netanyahu and his coalition won and nobody’s contesting it. 

But now the question is, with this split Israel, what do we need to do in Israel now that the self-identified non-liberal camp is empowered, they call themselves that, what do we need to do to strengthen Israel’s democratic and liberal values? Is there anything that we could do? Is the other camp against these values? Some of them, yes. All of them? Maybe not. 

How do we influence those who promulgate a vision of Israel alien to our, our meaning the three of us, our meaning the Shalom Hartman Institute. Ours means also much of our audience. When we talk about Judaism, there’s certain ideas that we express. And when major members of this coalition speak about Judaism, it’s a different Judaism they speak about. 

Is there opportunities, are there ways for us to convince, what do we need to do? How do we talk? How do we make inroads to fight for the Israel we want? Are there bridges that can and need be forged with the other? Are there boundaries? Who should we talk to? Are there people we should talk to? Are there people we shouldn’t talk to? Does bridge building, is it a value unto itself? What are the boundaries? What do we need to do, not only within Israel, but to sustain a world Jewry who say that having a relationship with Israel is an important part of their Jewish identity?

How do we enable them to continue to have an Israel that they wanna have a relationship with? How does Zionism remains something that excites people or excites imagination or is something worthy of fighting for? The reality is, is that I’m still partially in mourning, but I’m already transitioning. And I wanna begin to think about what we need to do. That’s our theme for today. So let’s begin. 

Yossi and Elana. Thank you. It’s wonderful to be with you. I don’t yet know what you’re gonna talk about, but one thing I do know is that after listening to you, I’m gonna feel better because you’re, you’re my support group. So like I count, 

Elana: Very hopeful.

Donniel: I count on you. Elana, let’s start with you. 

Elana: Sure. 

Donniel: Let me direct the question. Are you mourning? Are you in mourning right now?

Elana: Okay. So, okay. So I have to tell you, first of all, it’s great to be back with the two of you, it’s been a while. 

Donniel: Yeah, we missed you. We had to do this on our own.

Elana: Um, yeah, we may, I actually, as I said to you on the phone, you know, I got sick for two weeks. You guys elected Ben Gvir. Should I have come to the podcast in the interim? Was there anything I could have done? Like, you know, I was counting on you guys. 

Donniel: Thank you.

Elana: I gotta tell you, we’re ahead of you on this curve in America because this feels incredibly familiar. I mean, everything from when you count the popular votes versus the electoral infrastructure to, you know, my best friends held their noses and voted for the party that I think even if you held your nose, it would be impossible to vote for them. Right. 

Or like, being the in-group moderate, right? This is all incredibly familiar. What I would say is that as an educator, I feel like I’m in big trouble here because I don’t yet know how in a not just partisan way to help people continue a productive and affirming relationship with Israel in this environment, in this moment, without just being apologetic and without, so what I would say is my sense of despair is both how could this happen? 

But then I, I know how this happens. It’s a reaction to the previous gov. I was just, I’ve seen it. I was, I was just living it here. But it, it’s really a sense of, okay. How do you pivot? What is your paradigm shift as someone who cares about the relationship between American Jews and North American Jews and Israel? That’s my freak-out moment right now of trying to figure it out.

Donniel: So you’re still freaking. So are you mourning or are you trying to figure it out?

Elana: The piece that I am mourning is that the name of the party and the representation of the party that is the problem here is called religious Zionist, which is my community.

Donniel: I hear you. I wanna come back to that. You’re mourning that.

Elana: I am definitely mourning that.

Donniel: I wanna come back to that, and I so much appreciate you putting that finger that, cause that’s also a very deep part of what I think we need to do. But I really, I hear you and I know you and I know where you are and your whole career is a career of teaching the Jewish people and a commitment to the Jewish people, but never, ever leaving the particular place where you stand.

Reaching people who are, a broad umbrella doesn’t mean standing nowhere. And, and your career is about standing somewhere and from that somewhere reaching. And I therefore, I really, it’s beyond the words. I hear your pain cause I know you, Elana, I really know you.

Elana: Yeah, there’s a, there is a despair there.

Donniel: Yossi? Are you ready, are you still sitting shiva? Are you in shloshim? Or are you ready? Like could we go on? Could we now concentrate? Are you there or no?

Yossi: Uh, I’m not fine. Thank you. 

Donniel: So that, that’s, that’s, that’s the, you know, excuse me, I gotta say this. So say it the second gen too. Like, that’s like. Like , Like this is like that. That’s how, how are you? I’m not fine. Thank you.

Yossi: Yeah, yeah. That about sums it up for me. And you know, the question you asked Elana, is the question I’m struggling with, which is, uh, trying to find my bearings between the doomsayers. Those who are proclaiming the end of the Israel that we knew and loved, the end of Israel altogether. And between those who say how wonderful that you are a democracy and you just had a great vote.

You know, there were a number of Jewish organizations that released statements to that effect congratulating the people of Israel on their democratic election. And speaking of shiva, what I felt was I’m sitting shiva right now for my mother. And you walk into my shiva and you tell me what a great party you’ve thrown here. Look at all these people and wow, what a spread. 

And I’m sorry, I’m not ready to receive your mazal tov on what a great democratic achievement uh, we’ve just had in the state of Israel.

Donniel: You know, Yossi, when you say that, I wanna, Yossi, I know you’re gonna continue. Just when you said that, it reminds me, I was just visiting, I was at a shiva house of a very close friend of mine. This remarkable lady whose father had an interesting, tragic, remarkable life, died at 87, and this man comes in and he asks my friend, how old was your father?

She’s crying nonstop. She says he was 87. He says, oh, so it wasn’t a tragedy. It’s like she, like you should have seen, his wife almost took his head, it was like, hello? And she was like, he says like, oblivious. So it violates shiva protocol.

Yossi: Oh yeah. And so, but, you know, Donniel, what I’m really asking myself is what am I in mourning for? I have this visceral sense that we’ve crossed a red line. But what’s been broken? Because we know that the half a million Israelis who voted for Ben Gvir didn’t suddenly adopt Kahanism and fascism.

That’s not what was happening here. We know that it was because of security fears and a sense of personal insecurity. And yet a half million Israelis voted for a man who until two years ago had a picture of Baruch Goldstein, the mass murder of Chevron, in his living room and took it down only because it was getting him into political trouble.

And so what’s happened here? And that’s what I’m asking myself and what’s happened in my relationship to that very substantial camp that may have held their noses, Elana, as you put it, held their noses, but nevertheless pulled the lever for the successors of Kahanism.

So there was a decision that was made here, which is that my moral squeamishness can’t determine how I’m voting now. I feel violated and you know, I have been actively defending Israel for at least 50 years. I’m on a lecture tour now in the US, I’m going to Chicago, and I’ve been thinking about how my Israel activism began in Chicago, and I was a student at Northwestern and Menachem Begin was invited to come receive an honorary degree on campus. This was 1978.

And I led the campaign defending Begin on campus, and I’ve been doing whatever I could since then to defend the good name of Israel and now I feel silenced. I don’t know what to say and so I think I’m also in mourning for that. I feel like I’ve lost something of my ability to unequivocally stand for the good name of Israel. I don’t know. I don’t, this is, this is what I’m trying to say. I don’t know.

Donniel: See, it’s, it’s interesting as I, I, I hear you, Yossi,

Yossi: And that’s, I think that’s what happens at as shiva is suddenly you feel that an essential part of your life that you always took for granted, especially if it’s a parent, someone who was a loadstar in your life is now gone and, and you’re in uncharted waters. What do you say? What do you do? 

And you know, I’m on a lecture tour now. I’m speaking for the Hartman Institute all over the US and I’m winging it. That’s the truth.

Donniel: Yossi it’s, there’s a few things you said and, you know, so many times our different perspectives are a byproduct of the way we were raised and I was raised to define myself as an Orthodox Jew, even though no one in my surroundings defined me as an Orthodox Jew.

So I’m also very different from you, Elana. I have an identity, which was always alone. I was always alone. I was always in a community, you know, maybe I, I’m the only example of what Yitz Greenberg, you know, said when, I don’t care what denomination you belong to, as long as you’re embarrassed by it.

So I belonged to the denomination where people were embarrassed by me. You know, it, it’s like like, so, like, I, I, it’s so, but one of the consequences of that is that I, I was always raised to never allow others to define me, ever. I am completely committed to Jewish peoplehood. My whole life is about worrying about the Jewish people, but I never allow anybody to define me.

So you used a word, Yossi, I feel violated. I feel that my Israel was taken away from me. For me, my whole life is that, what are you talking about? Like Ben Gvir and I’m in a different, like, I accept, you know, also part of me gets outta mourning too quickly. And it’s not healthy. It’s not healthy. And I appreciate that and that’s why it’s so important that we talk with each other and uh,

Yossi: And I think that’s exactly the point, because a week or two from now, when I move into the shloshim, I’ll sound differently. I’ll be, I’ll be closer to where you are, but I 

Donniel: Should I tell you

Yossi: I’m, I’m still,

Donniel: I appreciate that, but I

Yossi: in the deep waters.

Donniel: Could I just, just finish one sentence, and then Elana I see you wanna come in. There’s, I’m frankly, I’m already feeling fatigued at the language of the disaster. How many times have we spoken about Ben Gvir’s picture? Now I, I wanna be really careful.

I know you could whitewash racism, injustice, you could do that, but you could also, there’s almost a conversation, which is becoming the reality itself. When Ben Gvir and when there’s gonna be Smotrich, when the policies will come down, they’re gonna be there and we’re gonna have to confront them. But I feel that there’s a language discourse, and Elana, again, I hate to talk about American politics, you know, because I like to pretend as if I’m not an expert, this way, even if people disagree with me, I have a way out.

But there is this language of fear about the other, which magnifies them to such a degree that any way forward, it’s like we’re constantly living in the apocalypse that never happens. But there’s an apocalypse. Doesn’t mean bad things aren’t gonna happen. 

There’s gonna be real things, Yossi, that we’re gonna have to fight and we’re gonna have to get really busy, you know, when Smotrich or Ben Gvir, or Netanyahu or anybody else, or, or different Haredi parties are passing legislations, we’re gonna have to ask, what does it mean to be an effective opposition? Where do we have to go? 

But I’m ready not to do, you know, I agree with you. These letters, you know, or how wonderful our democracy was, or Brett Stevens, we’re only 11% fascist, you know? France is 43. It’s like, that doesn’t move me very deeply, even though it is a good point. It does pay to know that, but there’s something very debilitating about over discourse, but there’s also something very dangerous about stopping mourning too soon. So that’s the tension. Elana, I apologize. Yes. You wanted to come in.

Elana: Well, no, not at all. What I think is so interesting about our conversation is like the three of us are having this conversation where we’re being incredibly honest, saying, whoa, I’m kind of in a moment where I’m suspended as someone who speaks about Israel, who’s someone who teaches about Israel, who’s someone as someone who defends Israel.

I’m in a moment of suspension where I don’t know what to do, and then two weeks from now I’m gonna have a plan. Right? This is part of making a plan, and it’s not gonna be a whitewashing plan, it’s gonna be a real plan that has integrity to it. But what I think is amazing about this conversation is that we’re sharing this conversation with whoever listens to this, which means what we’re basically trying to tell people is that there are stages in figuring out what your approach is gonna be.

And outrage or despair should not be a 5, 6, 7 year stage. It should be a stage that gets you to think, now what am I going to do that is productive, that is going to make a difference, that is going to strengthen some forces in the long term. And I think that in a way we’re not there yet, even as we’re starting to talk about it. But I love the transparency of each of us saying, we know we have to get there. And it’s okay to say, holy cow, I don’t know what to do right now. It’s okay to say you’re silenced right now, but don’t stay there.

Donniel: You know, so, let me, one second. 

Yossi: I, I, I need to respond. I need to respond.

Donniel: You have to? Go. Okay. I love you. Go

Yossi: Yeah.

Elana: He has to, he’s he’s not silenced anymore.

Yossi: Yes. This conversation is helping me put into focus where I am at this moment, which is that I’m wary of prematurely rushing to the next stage because I feel we need to acknowledge the enormity of what has happened. 

And on the other hand, I’m no less wary of those who are going to be so incapacitated by grief and self-recrimination of, in terms of our general Jewish conversation, that they’ll be incappable of effective action. And so that’s, Donniel, really, to get back to your initial question, that’s, that’s where I am.

Donniel: Great. So now let me ask both of you and myself a question. Yehuda Kurtzer in his podcast Identity Crisis, uh I was just there. He invited me and we spoke together and he asked me a question about boundaries. I wanna make a distinction here. I don’t think I’m gonna have a fully worked-out plan the minute sloshim is over, the 30 days. 

But I know that I’m ready. It’s not that I’m, I, I have a plan, but I’m ready to start working. When people ask me what am I gonna do, it’s very clear to me what I’m gonna do. I am going to represent the Israel that I dream of. That’s what I’m gonna do. How to do that. That’s clearly what I’m gonna do. 

Now I have to start thinking about a whole slew of questions about, what’s the most effective way to do that? And there’s a difference between knowing the details of your plan and shifting into action. But one of the big questions that we’re gonna have to face and Yehuda asked me this, and it was a really great question and, and I gave an answer, but I don’t know if I agree with it.

You know what I mean? It’s like, it’s, I wanna hear your answers.

Elana: Right. Two days later already.

Donniel: No, no I do agree with it, it actually moved me. 

Elana: No but I’m saying you’re, you’re con, you’re evolving.

Donniel: No, no. It moved me deeply. But I always lived by the ideology that I know what it is that I know, but I never claim that what I say or know is the truth. It’s like, you know, I, What are the boundaries?

So right now in Israeli society, without going through again, a description of who Ben Gvir, Smotrich, Shas, Agudat, without going through a litany of their liberal hearses and all. At the end of the day, now, they’re gonna be Minister of Defense, Minister of Interior, of Homeland Security Minister. They are gonna be shaping our country. Now, leaving them aside, their supporters, 50% of the country. 

What am I gonna do? Do I have boundaries? Do I say and go through, Okay, if Ben Gvir, Smotrich, like who am I willing to speak to? Which supporters, we’re, we’re gonna have to come out of this at the end of the day. Because while we’re mourning, they sat in shiva when some of us were in the coalition. Is there any way for us to move forward? This is the question. Together. Together. I didn’t say what we’re gonna do, but is there any togetherness that we could envision? Elana, you go first.

Elana: Okay, so this, we literally have been dealing with the exact same question here with Trump and never Trump. Like literally the exact same question. And I think, you know this, this is the drum that I beat. I need the in-group moderates to be a bridge. On both sides. Whoever can find their way to the edges to be able to meet each other.

I’m watching so many discussions on social media about religious Zionism in Israel right now, and I wanna tell you a few of the ways these discussions go. One way the discussion goes is somebody is fullthroated Smoteich Ben Gvir, and other people either yell at them or ignore them completely. Right? 

I’m not super interested in those conversations. The conversations that I’m interested in is can you get away from the guilt by association that comes with working with people who are part of a group, but are the moderate or even opposition within that group? And those discussions interest me very much. 

When people start talking about, you know, like religious Zionist moderates who live over the green line. But they live in Gush Etzion area, right? They live in the area that would be in the Clinton lines, okay? And they’re writing these beautiful op-eds, we need a gentler religious Zionism. This is not the religious Zionism that I came for. And I’m watching the conversation and some people are saying, thank you very much for representing that. And other people are saying, well, who do you think you are? You live over the green line anyway. And to me, there’s no difference between, you name it, illegal outpost, and what you’re doing, it’s all stolen land. 

And I’m saying to myself, hold the phones. Hold the phones. If you are not willing to speak to somebody who is part of a group but is a moderate within that group, the Liz Cheneys in the American parlance, if you can’t do that, we’re lost. We’re lost.

Donniel: Is there a Liz Cheney? Let me push you. Is there a Liz Cheney supporter of Ben Gvir? Cause Liz Cheney said, I hate, I’m Republican, but I hate Trump.

Elana: No, no, no. I, I can’t do Ben Gvir. I, I, 

Donniel: Not Ben Gvir. Is there a a Liz Cheney, because I wanna tell you, Elana, if I take exactly what you said, there are hundreds of thousands of people who voted for Smotrich Ben Gvir, saying, I’m voting for them, but I know I don’t accept this. I don’t, so could they count as moderating forces or anybody who voted Smotrich Ben Gvir is out of your camp? Half a million Israelis, my friend.

Elana: I can’t, first of all, I can’t put them out of my camp, meaning the people who I’m gonna put outta my camp are people who are ideologically Noam or who are ideologically Ben Gvir. I’m out.

Donniel: So tell me, so now, to our audience, explain ideologically Ben Gvir and ideologically Noam to our audience.

Elana: Ideologically Ben Gvir is that you replace the word Arab with terrorist and you say all the things you would wanna say about Arabs and you pretend you’re just talking about terrorists. But we know who you’re talking about. It’s a problem. Noam. Terrible anti-LGBTQ rhetoric. Terrible, terrifying, terrible. You know, we, I know I’m not here to talk Torah, but I gotta tell you.

Donniel: So would you, I’m with you, so would you make a distinction between, got you. Got you. 

Elana: It’s destructive. It’s destructive. Torah. It’s destructive Torah.

Donniel: Would you accept that there’s a difference between somebody who advocates the most extreme form of these ideologies to someone who voted for them?

Elana: Look, I’m gonna accept that there’s a difference, but I’m not so sure that those people are the people who are going to be the bridge. Meaning when I’m looking for a bridge,

Donniel: Elana, but, but Elana, I gotta push you, because I wanna tell you, in Israel, the religious Zionist community, they all voted for them. There’s nobody, 

Elana: Time out. They did not. 

Donniel: 95%. I’m telling you. We have the statistics. We know it.

Elana: I know, I know.

Donniel: So then you’re saying, I wanna be in, so I’m asking you, and I’m with you by the way. I, I, you’re frightened and I wanna tell you, I think you have to take another step because I think if you wanna now look for moderating forces, many of the forces that you hate the most, but are the forces that you belong to, voted for Ben Gvir. But they don’t necessarily represent. 

So I think you’re gonna have to work on some of those boundaries. I think you’re gonna have to think about it. It’s like what are the limits of it? Cause I know in America it’s not allowed. I wanna give you one sentence so that you have the last word on this one, and then I wanna ask Yossi the same question.

Elana: Mmhm. Here’s my one sentence. You can have relationships with different tone, with different purpose, the being in relationship and working on different issues, you’re right, you’re going to have to figure out who from the community can work with you on this and who can work with you on that. But I definitely make the hard-line distinction between people who are ideologically in the camp versus holding the nose. 100%.

Donniel: Ideologic. Okay. So we could have holding the nose, voting, and ideological. There’s room. Yossi? What are your lines? I hear you, Elana. These are, it’s the it, and by the way, it’s not simple, so I’m right with you. Yossi. Where are you on this? 

Yossi: First of all, there’s no place in Israeli discourse for categorizing entire populations as deplorables to use, uh, Hillary Clinton’s regrettable language. We can’t start de-legitimizing entire parts of the Israeli population. Then we’re finished. We live under constant pressures, threats, and my responsibility is to understand the fears and concerns of my fellow Israelis. 

And I would certainly make the distinction that you make, Elana, which is between the hardcore Kahanists and those who to my mind made a disastrous mistake. But that’s what it is. It’s a disastrous mistake. And it’s, and, and they’re obviously still part of my family of discourse.

I’m struggling with a distinction between those who support this government, those who voted for this government, and the government itself. And here I’m coming to a line that haunts me from, uh, Netanyahu, Netanyahu categorized the Bennett government, the outgoing coalition as legal, but not legitimate, even though they had 61 majority in the Knesset.

Uh, one can argue that Bennett really did, uh, violate the trust of many of his voters. Nevertheless, that phrase legal but not legitimate, I’m struggling with whether it’s applicable to this government. Is it legitimate that a Prime Minister who is on trial for corruption should be allowed to determine substantive, even historic changes in the legal system? Is that legitimate? Is it legitimate that someone who may be the police commissioner, Ben Gvir, attends a memorial for Meir Kahane? 

So my question is not the legitimacy of those who voted for this government, but the legitimacy of some of these leaders. And I don’t have an answer. My intuition tells me that in terms of Ben Gvir, we need to place him on probation, and we need to say, okay, you have this history. You’ve been telling us that you’ve moderated, okay, but we’re letting you know that we’re watching and listening for incitement, for hatred. We will not let you place an entire group of Israelis citizens, Arab Israelis, in the category of conditional citizens. And it’s a very tricky thing to place a government minister on probation. But that’s an expression of the strangeness of this moment, and that we don’t have the precedent, we don’t have the tools in our national toolbox to help us navigate this moment.

Donniel: You know, I really appreciate both of the nuances that you’re trying to put forth and maybe Elana, you started by saying, we have much experience of this in America, and I think one of the things that we need to learn about from America is how destructive it is when you place your boundaries in the wrong place.

America, again, I don’t wanna speak too much. There is serious challenges to any ability in the United States to work with somebody who votes for a party that you don’t advocate for. And when you define the party as representing the destruction and the end of America and democracy, et cetera, and I’m not getting into whether it’s true or not true, but from a sociological perspective, a society ceases to be coherent when 30-40% of your society is determined to be intolerable and beyond the pale and where you can’t speak to them and if you speak to them, then I can’t be your friend. 

That process is tearing America apart and we now have very deep ideological schisms in Israel. I wish we didn’t. I wish we could go back where the big debate was just not Netanyahu, or yes Netanyahu. And I look back and I say, I made a mistake. I used to be part of the just not Netanyahu camp, and I think I was wrong because I think I placed a boundary in the wrong place. It could have been one thing where I said, Netanyahu, I don’t think you should be Prime Minister. I’ll vote against you. But the just not Netanyahu, I think that was an error.

With all of the criticisms, I think if you actually take Netanyahu and the Haredim you had 40% of the country was very clear that it was just Netanyahu. I think that was a mistake and the challenge that we’re facing now as we look forward, as we move from mourning to what we’re going to do, today I don’t wanna present the plan today, Yossi, the one concrete thing that you mentioned is something that I wanna embrace. 

There are gonna be some people who are at serious risk right now. People who can’t defend themselves because the minute they protest, they’re called terrorists. So even, what a normal citizen, what LGBTQ community could do to defend their rights, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Palestinians can’t.

But in any event, no matter who it is, we’re gonna have to be very, very careful. And it’s not that we could pass legislation. But we could shape the public marketplace and make sure that we’re standing clearly with those people who are at risk. But beyond that prescription, as we begin to move to doing, one of the things I want all of us to think about is to think about boundaries and to think about when they’re necessary, and to think about when instead of giving you an opportunity to build a new society, undermine your ability to do so. 

Everybody has boundaries. There is no such thing as a discourse without boundaries, and there’s no such thing as a community without boundaries, but be very, very careful because right now in Israel, those who used to be clearly beyond the boundaries are in fringe. They’re now at the heart and they’re at the heart of power, and their supporters are deeply committed to them.

How we reached them, how we make subtle distinctions between ideologues, and yes, butters or people who embody part but not all. These questions, none of us have an answer. This is, as we move to the next stage, this is gonna be one of the most important questions we have to think about.

For Heaven’s Sake is a product of the Shalom Hartman Institute. It was produced by David Zvi Kalman and edited by Gareth Hobbs at Silver Sound NYC. Our production manager is M. Louis Gordon.

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See you in two weeks. Thank you for listening. Yossi, Elana, thank you so much. It was wonderful to be with you.

Yossi: Always.

Elana: Same.

Yossi: Thank you.

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The End of Policy Substance in Israel Politics