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As a matter of fact, Jerusalem is not only the capital of Israel; it is a spiritual center, which attracts a number of people every year. The city is considered to be sacred to three major religions, namely Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The busiest city of Israel is Tel-Aviv. It is the major business and financial center. A kibbutz is a unique place in Israel. Agricultural communes can be found only there. They are characterized by common property and the equality of all the members in labor and consumption. The primary purpose of the paper is to evaluate the tension between old, new, progressive, and conservative Israel.
Diversity in Israel
Israeli society is culturally diverse, Jewish and Arab cultures are the main representatives. After 1948, the Jewish community became dominant and multicultural1. Jews returned after scattering from many countries and acquired new cultural peculiarities. They have created a state of immigrants who were raised in a different cultural environment.
The research regarding the factors that affected the formation of Israel as a state should center on Zionism2. In other countries, the ideas that were provided to the population became an integral part of their culture. Modern Israel was born out of the belief itself. It is worth highlighting that there would be neither Jewish society nor the state itself without the idea to unite. One of the most important discussions within the Zionist movement was centered on the question concerning what kind of culture to create, namely old one or new and progressive. From the very beginning, people realized that there should be an interaction between old and new, between east and west. The Zionist movement stimulated debates regarding this subject.
However, it should be stated that the focus of these discussions gradually shifted towards a better understanding of Israel as a state. A number of different tendencies within the Zionist movement emerged, each of them has developed its own approach and answer on the question of what kind of culture should flourish in Zion3.
All the movements realized that the idea of creating a brand new Jewish world meets their expectations in the best way. Under the influence of Theodor Herzl, political Zionism centered attention on the interaction with progressive Western cultures. Religious Zionism, in turn, focused on the need to study Torah4. As for labor Zionism, the supporters of this movement believed that the work on the field, as well as the working men and women who are building their own life, will lead to the fact that the culture is going to be based on the relationship between a human being and his land.
In conclusion, it should be pointed out that the movements are well-represented nowadays in the way the country is functioning. There is a constant struggle between past and future, east and west. Tel-Aviv is a modern, highly developed, and progressive, business and financial hub, Jerusalem remains a spiritual center, conservative and religious, whereas Kibbutz still reflects the fundamental ideas of labor Zionism.
Despite the fact that Israel is multicultural, multi-religious, and diverse, the tension still exists; however, people are tolerant and have already learned how to co-exist together despite all the differences. Medicine, military, and safety are considered to be the most powerful and innovative across the globe. It proves that desire to unite and combine progressiveness with conservatism are the guiding powers that stimulate progress and development.
Patai, Raphael. Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions. New York: Routledge, 2013.
Shapira, Anita. Israel: A History. Waltham: Brandeis University Press, 2014.
Wistrich, Robert, and David Ohana. The Shaping of Israeli Identity: Myth, Memory, and Trauma. New York: Routledge, 2013.
- Raphael Patai, Encyclopedia of Jewish Folklore and Traditions (New York: Routledge, 2013), 35.
- Anita Shapira, Israel: A History (Waltham: Brandeis University Press, 2014), 15.
- Robert Wistrich and David Ohana, The Shaping of Israeli Identity: Myth, Memory, and Trauma (New York: Routledge, 2013), 65.
- Anita Shapira, Israel: A History (Waltham: Brandeis University Press, 2014), 54.