forced shrinkage

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.

—Tens of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews protested in Israel Thursday against a court order to desegregate a religious school and force Jewish girls of European and Middle Eastern descent to study together.
Demonstrations were held in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak, a Tel Aviv suburb with a large population of religious Jews, before some 80 Ashkenazi parents, Jews of European origin, were to report to jail for defying the Supreme Court ruling.
Israel’s ultra-Orthodox minority has long been at odds with the Jewish state’s highest judicial authority over edicts which some devout Jews say interfere with their religious lifestyle.—Read More:

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….

Peter O’Toole. 1962. Lawrence of Arabia.—As Weizmann wrote in his notes on the meeting, Feisal explained that “it was curious there should be friction between Jews and Arabs in Palestine. There was no friction in any other country where Jews lived together with Arabs…. He [Feisal] did not think for a moment that there was any scarcity of land in Palestine. The population would always have enough, especially if the country were developed. Besides, there was plenty of land in his district.”
On January 3, 1919, Feisal and Weizmann met again in London, to sign an “Agreement between the King of the Hedjaz and the Zionists.” Lawrence, who was once again the guiding hand in this agreement, hoped that it would ensure what he, Lawrence, termed “the lines of Arab and Zionist policy converging in the not distant future.”
On March 1, 1919 Lawrence, while in Paris as the senior British representative with the Hedjaz Delegation, drafted and then wrote out in his own hand a letter from Feisal to the American Zionist Felix Frankfurter. In this letter, Feisal declared, “We Arabs, especially the educated among us, look with the deepest sympathy on the Zionist movement.”—Read More: Martin Gilbert

(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.

—Amir Peleg at Ynet was plain mean: “Lee said that on the day before the competition she was saying Tehilim and asked the public in Israel to pray for her. I don’t know if while she was praying, her opponents weren’t watching tapes or working out in the gym. What’s certain is that the prayer strategy did not prove itself. Some count on Tehilim against incoming rockets (certainly not the inventors of Iron Dome), but against gifted windsurfers it absolutely fails, even if the others are goyim… Korzits counted too much both on the wind (which was low on Tuesday) and on spirituality (Ruach v’Ruchniut).”
And former Meretz MK Yossi Sarid was even meaner in his Haaretz column: “My heart foretold bad omens when we found out about the need for Si’ata d’Shmaya (Divine help): normally, one must say Tehilim and call out ‘Shma Israel’ before a final chance after which there are no more chances. That’s when we understood where the wind was blowing, when it suddenly changed directions and became a holy spirit (same play on wind and spirit as before – easy pickin’ when you gang up on a windsurfer…).”—Read More:

…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 aga

incitement 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….

—From the non-Orthodox point of view, the time to reform the draft law and keep the Haredim from becoming an uncontrollable drag on the economy is now – before their influence in politics and society grows even further.
About one-quarter of all first grade pupils are from ultra-Orthodox families, a signal that their proportion of the Israeli population is set to more than double in another 20 years or so.
“Haredi power has not yet reached its peak,” said Landau, the editor. “The results of the Haredi baby boom will be felt in future elections. This is the last moment you can contemplate a government without Haredim.”
Hiddush’s Ilan said Israel had to stop subsidizing the Haredim’s mass opt-out of the military and productive work.
“This is what we need to save the Israeli economy,” he said. “If we don’t do it, we are walking into a catastrophe with open eyes.”—Read More: image:

…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.

—israeli officials blamed the move on the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the occupied Palestinian territory (OCHA oPt).
Tensions have grown in the past year between OCHA and the government, particularly after an OCHA information officer, Kuhlood Badawi, in March tweeted a picture of a Palestinian child covered in blood and falsely claimed she was killed by an IDF strike.
The picture, it emerged, was published in 2006 by Reuters and was of a Palestinian girl who died in an accident unrelated to Israel.
Security officials have also accused OCHA of supporting and building illegal structures for Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank.
But the UN Humanitarian Coordinator for the occupied Palestinian territory, Maxwell Gaylard, defended the UN’s decision to put the caravans in place. He said that the move was a humanitarian one on the part of an UN emergency fund supported by six UN member states and OCHA.—Read More: image:

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:


( 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.

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