Israel’s media outlets have spent the past week obsessing over what they’ve been shrilly referring to as a looming “culture war.”
Except that amidst all the breathless reports and pessimistic hand-wringing, our intrepid analysts and columnists seem to have overlooked a very important detail.
Namely, that their so-called “war” is already all but won… or lost, depending on one’s worldview.
The turning point came about a week ago, and fittingly, it occurred on the evening news itself.
You see, noted journalist Sivan Rahav-Meir was anchoring Channel 2’s 6:00 newscast, and she was interviewing Deputy Foreign Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (who is – for all practical intents and purposes – the virtual acting foreign minister). The former didn’t hesitate to ask tough questions, but the latter held her own and responded confidently, knowledgeably, and assuredly.
Of course, under any other circumstances, a respected senior politician being interviewed by a respected news anchor on national television wouldn’t warrant a second glance – let alone an entire blog post.
But what made this moment so significant, IMHO, was that although both women happen to be sheitel-wearing, modestly-dressed, and religiously-observant mothers, no one (well, no one except yours truly… :-)) cared or even noticed.
Aside from the fact that one could characterize the exchange as a veritable Kiddush Hashem, it was – as it should be – a complete and utter non-issue, and THAT’S exactly why it was such. a big. deal.
And so, I’m sorry to have to be the one to tell you this, dear media types, but while you were preoccupied with the ineloquent rants of has-been actors and busy confusing a potential removal of state funding with censorship, you somehow missed that Israeli society and culture were quietly evolving in the meantime…