Gidon and Hutch – January 23, 2024

Author: Gidon Ariel

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| Published: January 30, 2024

Colorado and Israel Geographical and Conflict Discussions
Hutch and Gidon Ariel discussed their locations and the geographical features of Colorado, where Jeff lives. They also talked about the highest city in the United States, which is Leadville, Colorado, located at over 10,000 feet. The conversation then shifted to the current events in Israel, with Gidon mentioning the ongoing war and sharing the grim news of 24 soldiers losing their lives, which he described as the worst day since the start of the war.

Israeli Military Announcement Practice Discussed
Gidon Ariel from Root Source discussed the practice of the Israeli military announcing the names of fallen soldiers. He explained that the process typically involves confirming all family members have been informed before names are released. Gidon shared his personal experience with this process, noting that he received a message from a friend as early as 5 AM indicating a particularly heavy loss of soldiers, but the names were not released until 7:07 AM. He also mentioned that one of the fallen soldiers was from his local area.

Israeli Political Divisiveness and Army Disagreements
Hutch and Gidon discussed the political divisiveness in Israel, particularly in relation to the recent war. Gidon highlighted the diversity of political positions within the Israeli army, and how these disagreements can lead to arguments among soldiers. He also noted that there have been instances of soldiers signing petitions urging those on the home front, the media, and politicians who can’t contribute constructively to remain silent. Gidon emphasized that the only significant political issue in Israel is the conflict surrounding Prime Minister Netanyahu. Jeff acknowledged the inevitability of political tension in a democracy and suggested that the media sometimes exaggerates the intensity of these conflicts.

Israel’s Political Shift and Knesset Parties
Gidon discussed the political landscape of Israel, highlighting the shift from a left-wing-dominated media in the country’s early years to a more right-wing influence in recent times. He explained the multi-party system, where the right-wing parties, including Netanyahu’s Likud party, hold a significant portion of the seats in the Knesset. Gidon also noted the existence of left-wing parties, ultra-orthodox parties, and centrist parties. The discussion emphasized the polarizing figure of Netanyahu and the opposition to his leadership. 

Knesset and Community Politics: A Conversation With Gidon Ariel
Hutch and Gidon Ariel discussed the political composition of the Knesset, with Gidon providing an overview of the different parties and their respective numbers. They also explored the political leanings of Gidon’s community, identifying it as predominantly right-wing, aligned with the National Religious Party. The conversation concluded with Gidon sharing his opinion that if Israel had the chance to vote for the US President, Trump would likely win due to his pro-Israel stances, particularly regarding the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem and recognition of the Golan Heights.

Abortion Discussion in US and Israel
Gidon Ariel discussed the topic of abortion in the United States and Israel. He highlighted that while abortion is a major issue in the United States, it’s not a significant concern in Israel. He suggested that taxes in Israel may cover some abortion costs and noted that the issue doesn’t attract much attention, possibly due to the Jewish religion. Gidon also shared his observation that higher socioeconomic groups in the United States tend to have fewer abortions, attributing this to greater access to contraception. He also hinted at a correlation between abortion and the military in Israel. Hutch expressed surprise at these insights.

Social Issues in Israel’s Military and Society
Gidon discussed social issues in Israel, particularly in the military and society, where men and women serve together. He highlighted the problem of pregnancy among women in the army, which is often kept secret due to embarrassment and religious beliefs. Gidon also mentioned the potential issues if abortion was prohibited. He then shifted the discussion to the topic of single-mother families and the relative lack of familiarity of the right-wing with such issues. Gidon emphasized the “live and let live” value in Israeli society, despite its traditional values, and the importance of security as a key issue.

Religious Issues in Israel: Ultra-Orthodox Army Service and Shabbat Public Transportation
Gidon then discussed various religious issues in Israel, with a focus on the ultra-orthodox community. He highlighted that the most significant religious issue is whether ultra-orthodox individuals should be required to serve in the army. Gidon also mentioned another issue, whether public transportation should operate on Shabbat, and how this impacts non-religious individuals who do not own cars. He expressed his personal opinion that these issues are non-issues and that solutions could be found.

Democracy’s Strengths and Weaknesses Debated
Gidon and Hutch discussed the strengths and weaknesses of democracy. Gidon mentioned the left-wing tendencies of some political parties, including socialism and left-wing religious views. Jeff expressed his belief in democracy but also identified its weaknesses, such as the freedom it provides which can lead to disagreements and lack of consensus. Jeff also suggested that democracy may fall short in addressing issues from a religious perspective. The discussion ended without a clear conclusion on the topic. 

Religious Trends and Shifts: A Historical Perspective
Gidon Ariel discussed the historical shift in religious beliefs and trends. He noted that while religion played a significant role in society about a hundred years ago, there has been a recent increase in atheism and agnosticism. Gidon suggested that this trend is relatively new in history and has led to a strengthening of religious conviction among certain groups. He also pointed out that the current anti-religious sentiment might have contributed to the development of stronger religious beliefs.

Jewish History and Israel’s Political Shift
Gidon Ariel and Hutch engaged in a conversation about the history of the Jewish people and the formation of the state of Israel. He also mentioned that a significant number of Israel’s population has shifted from left-wing to centrist, with an increasing number leaning towards traditional and religious values. Jeff shared his perspective on the Prodigal Son parable, drawing parallels with the experience of the nation of Israel. They ended the discussion by agreeing to keep in touch regarding future meetings and plans.

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