Elkin: Religious Israelis will become majority

At J'lem Conference, Jerusalem Affairs Minister insists that as religious sector grows stronger, Israel must try to prevent 'culture wars.'

Yoni Kempinski ,

Yisrael Bardugo
Yisrael Bardugo
צילום: ישראל ברדוגו

Minister of Immigrant Absorption and Jerusalem Affairs Ze'ev Elkin (Likud) called on Tuesday to promote Jewish construction projects in Jerusalem so as not to lose the Jewish majority in Israel's capital. 

"We're not taking into account that what is happening in Jerusalem, which has a mix of more haredim and religious people, is also taking place in the rest of the country," he declared at the 13th annual Jerusalem conference. "It's just quieter (in the rest of the country)."

"The majority of the State of Israel today is the minority of the future," Elkin emphasized. 

"There are several thing we can do to deal with this," Elkin continued. "We must prevent culture wars. You can't act through legal force, rather through dialogue. Whoever acts now with force will soon become a minority and force will be exerted against him."

Elkin argued that Jerusalem's budget is problematic as the city is developing very fast demographically and there is no correlation with revenues. "This is not just a problem in Jerusalem. As stated, it's happening across the whole country. The solution is to develop sources of employment in these sectors."

Another issue Elkin addressed was the ongoing terror wave, asserting, "In my opinion it didn't begin Jerusalem and in any case is something that is affecting the whole country." 

"We ignored ignored many things that didn't seem to interest us," he explained. "Incitement in the media, in mosques and from prominent politicians. We ignored it and it's murdering today. We paid for the textbooks of these murderers."

"Only today do we understand and are we beginning to internalize that if we don't deal with this now, we'll fine ourselves facing the results of neglect in the future. Finally, we outlawed the Islamic Movement after twenty years of talking. The arrests of imams who incite has also finally begun. But it is not enough," Elkin added.