MembersThe Dual Gravity of First and Second Israel

Israel is hopelessly divided into two rival societies that are drifting further apart by the day

| Topics: Benjamin Netanyahu
Israel and the hopeless divide between Left and Right.
Photo: Flash90

Upside Down is a 2012 movie about two earth-like planets orbiting each other so close that the civilizations inhabiting each planet can almost touch one another. The two societies can talk with one another, uses the resources of the other planet and so forth, but the dual gravity never allows them to actually meet. If people from one world are somehow able to transfer themselves to the other, they will be consumed by fire that burns any alien matter entering its atmosphere.

One planet is clean, rich and despotic. The other is dirty, poor and free.

I find this imagery helpful to understand the dual gravity that is separating Israeli society. Journalist Avishai Ben Haim has popularized the terms “First Israel,” referring to the secular leftist Ashkenazi elite, and “Second Israel,” representing the traditional right-wing Mizrahim (Jews from Arab countries). Ben Haim points out the obvious, that the political divide runs across this line of mostly liberal Ashkenazim, who have never really accepted the right-wing majority that first rose to power in the 1977 election. Until today, that election...

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