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May 20, 2002

Economics Trumps Religion in Israel

News that Sharon has Dismissed Cabinet Ministers from two major religious parties is going to scramble the politics of the Middle East. The issue was not the Occupied Territories, but instead "the two parties balked instead at [Sharon's]government's economic austerity measures, which would have cut benefits for Israel's lowest echelons." Shas, one the expelled parties, is the third largest party, representing the poorest Jewish Israelis who are largely emigres from Arab nations. Hope may come for justice in the West Bank from demands by poorer Israelis who may desire a functioning economy more than settlements in the West Bank. Economics may trump religion, even among the religious.

Posted by Nathan at May 20, 2002 11:26 PM


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