I was speaking with a young man from a charedi family who no longer looks frum, but insists on keeping certain mitzvot.
And despite his lack of kippah or tzitzit, he also gets offended if anyone labels him as secular. (The truth is, he'll voluntarily don a kippah for religious ceremonies & it seems he mostly keeps Shabbat—though I don't know how much.)
Anyway, he related a conversation between him & a middle-aged secular Israeli Leftist.
The Leftist tried to convince the young man that showing the Arabs tons of good will ("good" defined as whatever Leftists think Arabs want & would want for themselves) would bring peace to the nation.
As with many Leftists, this Leftist ignored the fact that quite a few Arabs in Israel refuse to vote (not even for Arab or Leftist parties)...or, if they can or would vote, they vote for more right-wing parties.
Some Arabs even vote for the Sephardi or Ashkenazi charedi parties.
So the young man asked the Leftist if he was in favor of same-gender marriage.
"Yes!" said the Leftist.
"Do you believe your daughters have the right to dress and behave however they want? Including all sorts of hanky-panky before marriage?"
"Do you believe in abortion?"
"Do you believe in freedom of religion? Like, do you think people have a right to be atheists?"
"Well, guess what?" said the young man. "The Arabs are against all that. Even the more secular Muslims don't go for any of that."
The Leftist looked surprised.
"They'll never support you," said the young man. "You stand against everything they believe in. They have no respect for secular liberal values. That's why Leftism is doomed in Israel. The Arabs do not want what you want. Because I hold by traditional values, I hold more in common with them and am more respected by them than you—despite my right-wing politics."
At that point, the young man said to me, "A while back, I realized all the conflict with the Arabs is all about religion. It's a religious war. And you cannot fight that war without religion."
Secularism Cannot Win a War of Religion
BTW, this same young man gets along well with Arab co-workers, both Christian & Muslim.
And I couldn't helping wondering if that contributes to what keeps him with at least one foot in firmly on the side of Torah.
Since the inception of Am Yisrael, persecution has always been seen as a Heavenly hint for us to cling more deeply to Torah.
Historically, the worst persecutions often follow the worst assimilation.
Most Jews either don't know or ignore the timeless attitude of our Sages toward Jew-hatred.
Most Jews either believe we all need to assimilate MORE & prove ourselves to be good little Jews ("good" as however defined by the current society or era) or many Jews believe in uncompromising physical defense.
Certainly, Jews must behave well in any society as dictated by halachah—but NOT in any way that includes assimilation.
Likewise, we Jews have the right to defend ourselves, whether verbally or physically.
But the overreliance on fighting prowess or eloquent arguments has never been the prime weapon in the battle against Jew-hatred.
Sure, history has shown Am Yisrael to be awesome warriors, orators, and writers.
But even just a glance into Tanach and millennia of Torah scholarship shows having our hearts in the right place ends up being our most powerful protection.
And maybe the example of the young man above isn't the best example because he's not actually so religious.
And his view of the conflict as a religious one is determined more by the Muslim insistence of the religious aspect rather than the Torah view of the religious aspect.
But the point stands: He insists on believing in God & refuses to completely assimilate into secular culture—and a major motivation for his stance stems from his accurate perception of the conflict as based on religious views...and not cultural or political views.