Just like some ultra-right wing Orthodox settlers in Israel can impede progress there, so hateful clerics can shape the culture of Arab communities in Europe. The problem is not lack of jobs or social mobility. It is the hijacking of a religion, and we cannot stop it unless we name it.
While the government works to sweep asylum-seekers off its streets and decant them back into the interior of the African continent, the vast majority of Jewish religious institutions and lay leaders in Israel have not made any attempt to aid the Africans.
Why do the entertainment and advertising industries need us to look like hasids or caricatures of Jewishness? Why is the image of a female rabbi, or a clean-shaven, young, attractive male rabbi with all his hair so rare? Why do they insist on "other-ing" us?
Sometimes, being in the right place at the right time, whether by coincidence or not, can lead to macro change. I don't know what is going to happen at the Western Wall in the future, but the times they are certainly a-changing.
An old saying within the Israeli political establishment goes something like this: "You haven't made it in Israeli politics until you've been cursed by the Pulsa Dinura." The latest such threat is a conjuring-of-last-resort by those within the ultra-Orthodox community who feel sidelined.
Unwittingly, some components of Ronald Fisher's theory of runaway selection can aptly describe the emergence of exaggerated religious traits as well. Take for example the recent photo of an orthodox Jewish man ensconced in a full-size plastic bag during a flight to Tel Aviv.