That they tend to be narrow-minded, petty, self-righteous, sexist and parasitical is a notwithstanding issue. The point is the Haredim as they are called, the ultra-orthodox tend to be sprouting lie like proverbial tomatoes at the end of summer, falling off the vine at a faster rate than the state can absorb the cost of supporting them with various dispensations. It was not foreseen at the founding of Israel that the small minority, looked at as quaint eccentrics to be eventually absorbed within Zionism would pose a demographic challenge to the hegemony of the secular elite ruling class, the socialist ethos of the founding sons and daughter causing a profound reflection of what exactly post-Zionism is supposed to mean; no one wants to be in the middle, and what were considered a sort of arrangement or accommodation, where interaction between secular and religious was limited if existent has been crumbling with the formerly colonized getting “uppity” and the liberal secular hunkering down, sniping and attacking through the media without an overly serious engagement. It’s a black comedy of sorts that will stretch the limits of democratic conceptions.
An democracy means also narrowing the gaps between Israel’s disparate and antagonist communities which although this has the potential to open the door to some level of trust it also appears anxiety inducing as well. A kind of “guess whose coming to dinner” scenario as the greater proximity, cultural closeness also serves to arouse fears of dilution and some sort of bastardization into a grand melting pot, a sinister brew that would affect the purity and gene pool of each side. The locus is at the conjunction of the apartheid state within a jewish dimension, the racism intrinsic in the fiber of the nation state, the violence and overall flavor of excessiveness that characterizes the national psyche. Ultimately, it is not liberality or narrow stringency or rebellious behavior that is threatening in this near claustrophobic setting but the rationales and logical constructions, artificial of course, that are put forward and pounded out in the form of some theory either said to be cosmic and divinely inspired or at the grandoise pinnacle of enlightened thought that justifies any and all in this play of post-modern virtues of grand-standing hypocrisy.
Israel’s founding fathers, almost universally Zionist with limited attachment to religious tradition, felt that the remnants of religious Judaism would soon evaporate in the heat after being transplanted from the Eastern Europe. Ben-Gurion, the first prime minister, honestly believed that Judaism as it evolved in the diaspora was an aberration from the true Jewish ethos and sense of fulfillment which could only be attained within statehood and a secular framework. At best, Ben-Gurion was a gnostic, with the state re-invoking the Biblical sense of warfare and communal living that marked its glory years. It was within this context that he gave his assent to exempt what was at the time, several hundred religious students from military duty under the assumption they would die out over a generation….(see link at end) …The haredi website Tsofar published an article calling for the assassination of Yaron London, a journalist and media personality, a week after London wrote an article in Yediot Achranot about the need he says Israel has to shrink the haredi population.
Tsofar responded Friday by publishing “Assassinate Yaron London,” by Shmuel Cooper, the Times of Israel reports.
Cooper compared London to Hitler and portrayed him as a senior member of Israel’s secular media which, Cooper claimed, controls secular and non-haredi public opinion and incites against haredim.
…Cooper’s article caused an uproar, and Tsofar changed the title from “Assassinate Yaron London” to “Shrink the existence of Yaron London” – a play on London’s call to shrink the haredi population.
While there have been calls for London to report Cooper and Tsofar to police for violating Israel’s law againcitement to murder, London has so far chosen not to do so, The Times of Israel noted.
London’s article calling for limiting haredi growth starts by pointing out that there seems to be no solution for the problem of haredim refusing to serve in the army, do national service or work. London notes the problem is not new, and that after all this time of failing to solve it, Israelis should realize no solution exists. Therefore:
…the correct question is not how to draft the haredim and draw them into the job market, but rather, what should be done in order to minimize their rate within Israeli society….
…Once the haredi population declines, the gravity of the issue of enlisting them to the army would decline as well. In other words, the enlistment question is no more than a slight nuisance in the framework of a broad spiritual and political struggle, which Israel’s majority fears to engage in. Yet without a quick change in current trends, all hope will be lost in the coming years for the Hebrew state in its Zionist version. The haredim shall win.
Nonetheless, it appears that most of us are like a deer caught in headlights. Most of us call for unity instead of heading to battle. Most of us are polite and adhere to the rules of political correctness, while avoiding the need to judge the rival.
Hasn’t the time come to openly say what we feel? Haredi society educates people to be parasites and cultivates poverty. Indeed, it is the most powerful agent of spreading ignorance, prejudice and all sorts of other nonsense. It is an enemy of the sciences, shuns the arts, disparages the rule of the people, hates women and exploits them. It despises those who are different, regardless of whether they are foreigners or members of our own people.
The strengthening of haredi society is a guarantee for weakening Israeli society to the point of ultimate defeat. Hence, the intellectual effort dedicated to the issue of IDF enlistment should be dedicated to the great challenge: Shrinking the ranks of the haredim. Read More:http://failedmessiah.typepad.com/failed_messiahcom/2012/05/haredi-website-calls-for-murder-of-secular-journalist-123.html
( From the Economist)…Israel is struggling to balance the rights and obligations of religious and secular-minded Jews. The privileges accorded to the haredim (“God-fearers”), as ultra-Orthodox Jews are known—especially the haredim’s exemption from military service, which all other Jewish Israelis must perform—infuriate secular Jews and divide the country. The hostility of haredim towards secular-minded Israelis and vice versa has become dangerously toxic.
The split also damages the country economically. Israel has done remarkably well in creating prosperity: its GDP per person is more than ten times that of Egypt, its biggest neighbour. But inequality and social strains have grown between Jewish Israelis. Moreover, 60% of male haredim of working age are jobless scholars. Some economists reckon that welfare payments and other subsidies to the haredim cost as much as $750m a year, while the overall annual benefit if they did work might be more than $3 billion.
If unaddressed, these problems are likely to get worse. The haredim, a tiny proportion of the Jewish population when Israel was created in 1948, are now the fastest-growing section of society: 26% of Jewish children entering primary school in Israel are haredim. Israel can no longer afford to exempt them from their future obligations.