@ Arjun , Interesting topic you raised..One needs to be able to understand the classification of Jews w.r.t ethnicity, liturgy and political preference ... They are a complex bunch of people ...And nomenclature makes it even more confusing...
for instance Orthodoxy /conservative Jews are often Anti Zionists
while liberal/reformed Jews are quite often pro zionists ..
Russian Jews are ashkenazi ...always have been ...
one must understand Jewry to truly understand Israel and Middle east..
classification of Jews by ethnicityAshkenazi.
70% of Jews.. Usually lived in oirope during middle ages..Formed 90% of Jews ..6 million killed in WW2.. Genetically , there origin seems to be middle eastern...MT DNA analysis reveals that they did mingle with european women...Yiddish is their language..these are the Brainy Jews ..and also have some interesting genetic diseases..Sephardic..-
Iberian peninsula ..spain and portugal..they faced inquisition by catholics...phenomenon of crypto Judaism was commonly seen...similar to taqquiya..ie pretending to be xtian to prevent persecultion...
The above have differences in practice of jewry , traditions and Minhag ..In early days of Israel these 2 did not get along well..
from jewish encyclopedia
What is the difference between Sephardic and Ashkenazic?
The beliefs of Sephardic Judaism are basically in accord with those of Orthodox Judaism, though Sephardic interpretations of halakhah (Jewish Law) are somewhat different than Ashkenazic ones. The best-known of these differences relates to the holiday of Pesach (Passover): Sephardic Jews may eat rice, corn, peanuts and beans during this holiday, while Ashkenazic Jews avoid them. Although some individual Sephardic Jews are less observant than others, and some individuals do not agree with all of the beliefs of traditional Judaism, there is no formal, organized differentiation into movements as there is in Ashkenazic Judaism.
Historically, Sephardic Jews have been more integrated into the local non-Jewish culture than Ashkenazic Jews. In the Christian lands where Ashkenazic Judaism flourished, the tension between Christians and Jews was great, and Jews tended to be isolated from their non-Jewish neighbors, either voluntarily or involuntarily. In the Islamic lands where Sephardic Judaism developed, there was less segregation and oppression. Sephardic Jewish thought and culture was strongly influenced by Arabic and Greek philosophy and science.
Sephardic Jews have a different pronunciation of a few Hebrew vowels and one Hebrew consonant, though most Ashkenazim are adopting Sephardic pronunciation now because it is the pronunciation used in Israel. See Hebrew Alphabet. Sephardic prayer services are somewhat different from Ashkenazic ones, and Sephardim use different melodies in their services. Sephardic Jews also have different holiday customs and different traditional foods. For example, Ashkenazic Jews eat latkes (potato pancakes) to celebrate Chanukkah; Sephardic Jews eat sufganiot (jelly doughnuts).
The Yiddish language, which many people think of as the international language of Judaism, is really the language of Ashkenazic Jews. Sephardic Jews have their own international language: Ladino, which was based on Spanish and Hebrew in the same way that Yiddish was based on German and Hebrew
other interesting article
Understanding the Sephardi-Ashkenazi Splithttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sha ... 41033.html
Sephardim, Ashkenazim, and Ultra-Orthodox Racism in Israelhttp://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-sha ... 15692.htmlMizrahic Jews
-- these form 60% of Israeli Jews.. these lived amongst the Arabs...
other ethnicity also exist like Bene israeli , Chinese jews etc..
Classification of Jews by Liturgy ie adherence to TorahOrthodox
further 2 typesUltra-orthodox..
Haredic ..rigid adherence to Torah..usually anti-zionist and anti-israel..some groups to such an extent that they have even supported palestine..
however amongst americans some pro-israeli groups have emerged...in US they usually vote republican because they are more "conservative" w.r.t homosexuality ,abortion and other bible belt issues that GOP likes..
some movements of of orthodox zionism too have emerged..http://www.myjewishlearning.com/israel/ ... arta.shtml
They have publicly burned the Israeli flag and allied themselves with the Palestinian leadership and cause. Neturei Karta's website states: "We seek to live in the land of Palestine as anti-Zionist Jews. To reside as loyal and peaceful Palestinian citizens, in peace and harmony with our Muslim Brethren." The following article discusses the reasons for their anti-Zionism. Reprinted with the permission of The Continuum International Publishing Group from The Encyclopedia of Judaism, edited by Jacob Neusner, Alan Avery-Peck, and William Scott Green.
Milder orthodox"enlightenment movement.
. 19th century... move to liberal traditions...and less adherence to torah..
Reform: US..Reform movement made Judaism liberal.. 50% Jews in US marry non Jews...most are pro zionist...anti-Israelis amongst this lot are analogous to bleeding heart Yindian liberals..like Jon stuart.. usually vote for democrat in the US as they are "liberal"
Liberal: UK similar to above
there are many combinations of the above...
write more when I have more time...
DISCLAIMER..i am not an expert..but read a lot about jews and israel over the years..