Whatever you might think of the Soviets, clearly one big difference from the original European Jews who settled in Israel is that Soviet Jews did not grow up in a society with liberal humanistic values and a democratic rule of law.
Meanwhile, the very high birthrates of the ultra-Orthodox Jews of Israel (6.5 live births per female, down from 9 births per female a decade ago) has led to their numbers rising to 15% of the population of Israel. By way of comparison, that is about the percentage of Hispanics in the U.S. (16%) and is higher than the current percentage of blacks in the U.S.(13%).
The Haredim are now a major political force in Israel, and have used their political clout to gain and maintain benefits not available to secular Jews - specifically, the right to not be drafted into the Army, and the right to be on permanent state welfare, all as long as they are engaged in "religious studies".
Moreover, the Haredim are moving to enforce halacha, sometimes referred to as the Jewish equivalent of Muslim sharia law, throughout Israel. Here is one recent article from the LA Times about the increasing restrictions on Jewish women in Israel:
We read constantly about how horrible the radical Muslims are for their backwards views and awful treatment of women. Let's be blunt here - I don't see that the ultra-Orthodox Jews are any better.
Israelis know all this and have taken note, and over the last decade, some 750,000 have emigrated out of Israel, voting with their feet essentially. I knew some of these ex-Israelis in the community I used to live in.
In reading all these posts on Amazon about Israel, the most passionate defenders of Israel seem to be from Jews of the Disapora, i.e., non-Israelis.
Question, do all of you non-Israelis understand what the real modern Israel of today has become?
And, for those of you who are American Jews, especially those of you who come from liberal ideologies, can you continue to support a country that has changed so much, and become so different from its original founding principles as a Jewish state that was nevertheless grounded in liberal Western democratic secular concepts of personal freedom and religious tolerance?
Please note that this thread is not about the Palestinians. Nor should this thread become a comparative study between Israel and its Arab neighbors. It is only about what modern Israel has turned into.