What Katzrin Can Expect Over The Next Five Years.
What can Katzrin, the peaceful capital of the Golan, expect over the next five years? For one thing, massive cultural changes. As the English-speaking aliya picks up steam, Katzrin will be one of the major beneficiaries, with thousands making it their home in Israel. This will change the demographics forever, with the once-dominant Russian-speaking residents taking second place.
While this change will be significant and challenge the cultural makeup of Katzrin, it will not cause division within its society nor harm its already harmonious relations between Jews from very different cultural backgrounds.
The problems confronting this Jewish outpost in Israel’s north will come from a very different culture steeped in Jew hatred and antipathy for the Jewish State. The last two years have seen the Arab population of Katzrin double to some 50 families. Over the next five years, we can expect the Arab community to have grown to some 250 families. Changes that on the surface may seem innocuous enough, such as the building of the first Arab-Muslim cultural centre to be followed by the first mosque with its minaret towering above Katzrins skyline like some ominous foreboding of things to come and with these facilities available, the Arab floodgate will have opened. Arabs will soon be the new majority, leading to an Arab-dominated local government with an Arab mayor.
Indeed, the existential crisis lurking for Katzrins Jews has the potential to be fatal. At the same time, we are plagued with a crisis of leadership that neglects the warning signs so prevalent in the Jewish experience of the last 100 years in Israel. If we are to avoid Katzrin becoming another Arab town where Jews are not welcome, we will have to overcome the feelings of helplessness and spiritual quandary, doing nothing without any plan in the struggle for the Jewish life of Katzrin. We need to initiate practical steps to chart a course of action that will awaken us to the danger on our doorstep.
It’s our duty as Religious Zionists to sound the alarm bells to galvanize Jewish hearts and alert our people to the danger that lies ahead. The Jewish residents of Katzrin must mobilize with all their might and oppose the growing demographic threat to their existence. We only need to start, and the rest will follow.
“Keep Katzrin Jewish!”