Department of Hope: Celebrating Israel’s 80th

What could Israel look like in 20 years, if we do things right? My article looking forward is now online at the National Post in Canada:

In Israel, 2028, Ibrahim Abdullah Hapalit is the reigning literary star. His first novel, Sinai, is based on his childhood escape from Darfur, across Egypt and the Sinai desert to the promised land. The last chapter, "Light," describes his parents’ ambivalence when he asked to light a Hanukkah menorah so he could be like the other children in his school. Critics rave over Hapalit’s Hebrew, built out of Biblical language and the Chinese-West African slang of south Tel Aviv’s immigrant alleys.

In Israel in the summer of 2028, no visitor to Jerusalem would skip outdoor Friday night services on the promenade overlooking the Old City from the south. Dozens of congregations meet there, a grand bazaar of Jewish religious styles. Rabbi Sarit Avihai, who invented a mesmerizing manner of chanting psalms after staying in a Himalayan ashram, has the largest following among young Israelis looking for a new way to be Jewish.

As for politics, the government is teetering as usual. The Populist Union, a Jewish-Arab party, is threatening to bolt the ruling coalition unless the budget includes more job programs for poor Galilee towns. In a Knesset debate, party leader Abd al-Karim Jubareen cleverly bolstered his case by citing the writings on charity of the great medieval Jewish sage of Egypt, Moses Maimonides, known in Arabic as Mussa bin Maimon.

Read the whole article here .


2 thoughts on “Department of Hope: Celebrating Israel’s 80th”

  1. I’m surprised you didn’t mentioned that in 2028 Barak Hussein was running for prime minister at the head of that Jewish-Arab party. If Israel goes in the right direction, someday an Israeli Arab will be prime minister or president–im yirtzeh Ha-Shem.

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