Scapegoating the religious Jews, the Haredim, as oppressors is quite ingenious even though their proper brand of neuroticism born of fear, paranoia and just old fashioned nastiness would make the most ardent fan of black comedy wince. For leadership of secular Zionism, essentially the founding spirit of Labor Zionism as well as more conservative elements organically grown from the Revisionist movement, it remains an essential if not bedrock foundation of social, political and economic necessity to have a state religion as a pretext to make it respectable to settle the land. It is a point of deflection and subterfuge that manipulates the discourse into one of not turning against the ruling class and its concentration of wealth or income inequality, but rather to channel this frustration towards oppressing the Palestinians and the Haredim, classes inhabiting a lower order on the pecking order.
Zionism dismantled the elements of former Jewish civil society in the Disapora by coopting them into a state structure where religion became one element in a bureaucracy, a political football played within the confines of the welfare state, and, bought out by budgetary gymnastics to ensure social peace by creating a climate of parasitism with its attendant dependence, leaving collective identity as a state prerogative that included the usual dimension of the white man in all his angst and suffering undergone in valiant attempts to “civilize” those unfortunate enough to have failed to internalize secular Zionism on the Western European model.
There is ample evidence that Zionism is perfectly capable of exercising racism towards Palestinians, and Islam in general, of which the victims are often complicit themselves. Zionism is also capable of antagonism towards their own masses of which the ultra-orthodox represent the peak of the submerged mountain while playing the rle of the naive, the old American “innocents abroad” The goal of the government, now excluding the religious from the coalition, has never really been to force the Haredim to serve in the military, or Arabs for that matter. They don’t need them. What is needed is a way to siphon the anger of protest movements through ambiguous silver tongues like Lapid and Bennett who can finesse the bias against the Palestinians and Ultra Orthodox while taking steps to be great emancipators within the Zionist project and towing their own ideological orthodoxy as an unquestioned option, sacrosanct; yet to attack it is to qustion the entire structure of Western democracy, opening the door to nihilists that cannot be held in check by guard dogs like the BDS movement or other so-called human rights and solidarity factions.
The Haredim, like the PA are also prone to shoot in foot disease. Spitting, throwing rocks and anything else not nailed down at women Jews holding a prayer service at the Western Wall means Haredim ,even the liberal element are at least complicit in this behavior and their leaders have no qualms about making their displeasure known when they are not fighting among themselves which is typical of oppressed groups. At base is a current of thought that, strangely like counterculture American hippies ( except the Haredim live for spiritual kicks and highs) posits that entering the workforce or army is a tacit condoing of the State’s activities and a willingness to work within a secular structure.
The common refrain is that the Haredim are “stealing” the country from them, which as echoes in Germany of Jews stealing the nation out from under the righteous Hun. The secular are capable, and aided by the media, of reaching a bolinig point of hatred for the Haredim. When the war with the Palestinians and the Arab countries eventually dials back to something vaguely normalized there could be a reprise of the Biblical war between Jews that split the Kingdom through internal hatred and helped contribute to the destruction of the Temple by the Romans.
But the religious are capable of giving as much as they get. Call it the Rabbi’s revenge, and how the religious when mixed with government, contribute to racism:
(see link at end)…This morning, Jews around the world read the Book of Ruth in Shavuot prayers. The story of the most famous convert to Judaism has its inevitable ups and downs, tragedy and triumph, but the actual conversion, the acceptance of Ruth, the Moabite princess into another nation was remarkably straightforward. She simply said to her mother-in-law, Naomi – “Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and yourmy God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried.” And that was that.
Today of course, conversion is both a business and bureaucracy, a lengthy and cumbersome process which is not only intentionally designed to make things as hard as possible for potential converts, but combines all the worst attributes of government red-tape, religious corruption, and legal obstructionism. Last week, the State Comptroller published his annual report which includes a 50-page chapter on the manifold failings of the governmental conversion apparatus. The report makes for depressing reading and is a damning indictment of everything both the government and the rabbinical establishment have done on the issue over the last decade.
Here are the national conversion system’s top ten screw-ups, and no, it won’t get any better by next Shavuot.
1. Despite the recommendation of two different government commissions on conversion , two major reorganizations of the state conversion apparatus in 1995 and 2003, which brought it under the responsibility of the Prime Minister’s Office, a special ministerial steering committee which was established in 2008 (but was never convened), and a steady increase in the state budget dedicated to conversion (32 million NIS in 2011), the actual number of conversions was nearly halved from 2007 to 2011, down from 8000 to 4300, with 26 percent of conversion candidates failed to complete the process.
2. The main motivation behind the attempts to improve the conversion system was to alleviate the predicament a large number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union found themselves in. Despite receiving Israeli citizenship due to their Jewish ancestry they were not considered Jews according to the Orthodox rabbinate and were therefore classified as being “without religion” and thus barred from getting married in Israel. But despite their plight and the government’s efforts, the number of citizens “without religion” has only grown from 320 to 327 thousand, in 2012.
3. Sixty percent of the conversion budget went to the “Joint Institute” which employs teachers from the Orthodox, Reform and Conservative streams. Despite the funds and the endorsement, only 39 percent of students who began their studies at the “Joint Institute” converted successfully.
…6. Rabbinical court judges have in the past been paid according to the number of sessions they attend. Some have been accused of delaying procedures so they could make more money per convert. Despite a government decision in 2008 to change their pay structure, the change was not implemented. Neither has the problem of the rabbinical judges’ chronic tardiness, often opening sessions over two hours late, been solved.
7. The final stage of the conversion process is ritual immersion in a mikve. For some reason, despite there being thousands of mikvaot, throughout the country, built and operated by state-funded religious councils, only four are used for conversion ceremonies. This causes a bottleneck in the end of the process with hundreds of converts forced to wait, some for close to a year, and on average in 2012, 43 days, to complete their conversion.
8. Even after completing the entire process, converts have to wait many months for their conversion certificate which allows them to get married. A third received their certificate only a year after the process was over. This is due to endemic chaos in the filing and the computer system of the Conversion Authority. Converts details in the Interior Ministry’s Population Registry are not updated due to the bureaucratic muddle.
9. An “exceptions committee” set up stringent conditions that bar nearly every non-Israeli candidate from beginning a conversion process. Ostensibly, the committee’s aim is to block those who are trying to take advantage of the Law of Return to receive Israeli citizenship but the conditions keep out also earnest candidates who simply want to be Jewish who are not even allowed to appear themselves before the committee….Read More:http://www.haaretz.com/jewish-world/jewish-world-features/ten-reasons-conversion-to-judaism-has-failed.premium-1.524157
Eventually, the cost of keeping the parasitical relationship with the state has its costs.Most ultra-Orthodox Jews have no skills to work in technological based economy since they have little or no math and science. That is, over sixty per cent live below the poverty line, double the Palestinian level; yet they support, tacitly the oppression of the Arabs based on God’s covenant with Abraham giving the Chosen the land of Israel. The Haredim, for their part, claim that their contribution is in the “battle of the womb,” the demographic facts of toddlers on the ground, and their enormous families often in the teens, are in the interests of the secular elite to keep up the state manna so their Yidden won’t die of starvation. They also contribute disproportionately to charity,keep the flame of classical culture and pray for all Jews, even those who are viscerally indisposed towards them like Gideon Levy.
Its an odd dynamic: Exclusively, only the insiders of the secular ruling class are permitted to question the values and institutions of Israeli society, as a right and privilege for being on the inside. Here, racist, inflammatory, and often anti-Semitic remarks lobbed against the religious or more independent government entities are viewed as unreproachable exercising of the healthy free speech impulses but, by contrast dissension from uppity religious is often viewed as a form of incitement, not cricket, and as an assault on the democratic principles of the society.