Todays conversation on the train revolved around israeli counterculter or the lack thereof. I suggested that the religious culture in Israel was in fact a counter culture while my esteemed colleagues argued that anything that is part of and funded by the establishment could be considered counterculture.
First a dictionary defintion:
coun·ter·cul·ture () Pronunciation Key (kountr-klchr)
- A culture, especially of young people, with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture.
A matnas is a community center, kind of like a JCC. I don't know exactly how the matnas is funded or what their mandate is, but they have been providing certain services to Bnei Akiva. There was a notice posted in shul that for shabbos Irgun, which is some international hokey shabbos that bnei akivians have. The letter said that the matnas refused to print their invitation because it had the words gush katif on them. The subject of the shabbos was "continuing the spirit of gush katif" After the youths printed it somewhere else the matnas told the Komonarit (head communist girl) that they would not be supporting bnei akiva anymore and they would not be able to use their facilities in the coming year for their shabbos irgun. The letter noted (and I don't know how factually accurate this is) that the matnas is supposed to support the organization on an oirganizational level and not at a detail level. The matnas is not supporting them out of kindness, but rather it is a right of bnei akiva as a local organization to expect this support.
While this is a specific example of youth, I see this as an uphill battle for the entire dati leumi communty. To me, it seems like the dati leumi (national religious) is in fact a strong counterculture as the established culture is trying to railroad them into leaving their culture and values behind, while they are fighting to instill a distinct seperate set of values into themselves.