In honor of Israel’s 63rd Independence Day, Arutz Sheva is undertaking a special project. Entitled “Facing Forward,” it asks personalities from different fields to respond to the question: How do you expect the State of Israel to looks in twenty-five years, and how would you want it to look at that time?
One of the participants in the project is MK Uri Orbach of the Jewish Home party, who presented a detailed and optimistic vision in almost every area.
“I believe that Israel will be better than it is today,” said Orbach. “The relations between the religious and the secular will be improved because some of secular people are becoming more traditional and the areas of difference are becoming more ambiguous.” He added that he believes that “the hareidim will be more Israeli and less hareidi,” and noted that he believes that the hareidim 25 years from now will be more involved in serving the nation.
In terms of the socio-economic arena, Orbach is also optimistic and believes that “commercialization will calm down as will the ‘shopping culture.’”
Orbach also predicted a rapid rise in the number of Jews who will make aliyah to Israel from abroad out of fear of assimilation. He believes that they will include both returning Israelis as well as new olim.
Israeli culture, according to Orbach, will also change and become more "neo-hassidic." He believes that the family will be the focus of social and cultural arguments within the Israeli public. Questions of personal status such as divorce and marriage, conversions, single-parent families and the like will be a hot issue of debate between conservatives and liberals.
As for Israeli politics 25 years from now, here, too, Orbach is optimistic. “The era of the wheeler-dealer politics is coming to an end,” he said. “The public does not feel obligated to center a party and it votes more according to emotion and the personal feeling that one can rely on a particular person.” Orbach believes that this approach will ultimately lead to a move to change the electoral system in Israel.
The only issue which remains complicated 25 years from now, even in Orbach’s optimistic eyes, is the issue of Israel’s Arab neighbors.
“When it comes to the relations with the Arabs I’m not optimistic,” admitted Orbach. “I think that after another round or two of confrontations, there will a stable autonomy or authority, but not an Arab country. Israel will annex part of Judea and Samaria, especially the Jewish communities there, and the Green Line will be deleted.”