The appalling behaviour of sections of the Charedi community in Israel during the pandemic lockdown proves once and for all that the majority has nothing in common with elements of the minority. They are the enemy within.
Think about the infamous wedding that recently took place in Stamford Hill, multiply it by 100 and you would understand the daily scale of the scandal that engulfed Israel in the last year. Selfish and arrogant as always, sections of the ultra-Orthodox raised their contemptuous head yet again. They refused to close their schools, kept gathering in their droves and were not willing to obey the authorities. Consequently, too many of them died, but because of them many others were also added to the death toll.
Some of them tell us that only a minority of thugs burn public buses and attack the hapless police. The truth is that that the overall majority ignored health guidelines and participated in mass weddings and funerals. Due to the pressure in their “own” towns, some of the infected were transferred in ambulances to hospitals in “secular” Tel Aviv. For many it was their first trip outside Jerusalem. Before Rosh Hashanah hundreds of them, many infected, were airlifted to Israel from New York to be connected to ventilators, free of charge of course. Others, shamefully, tried to reach the tomb of Rabbi Nachman in Ukraine, but the local government stuck to its principles and refused to let them cross the border with Belarus.
This criminal conduct stems from the fact that some do not recognise the legitimacy of Israel. For them Israel is only a tool to advance their objectives. Since this life is only a corridor to the afterlife they could not care less about their image in the eyes of the others, be them secular citizens, “normal” religious people, or the goyim. In the promised land they enjoy exemptions from work, military service and paying tax while benefiting from generous child allowances, accommodation subsidise, free children day-care centres, budgeted yeshivas, and unlimited access to health services.
Israel was always a Halacha state where civil marriages and divorces are forbidden, and unfortunate converts experience horrendous torture by the Rabbinical establishment. It is a Jewish Ayatollahstan whose mullahs’ appetite knows no boundaries as long a separation between state and religion is not in place. These God’s representative on earth are not only anti-secularists but, in my view, also anti-Zionists, anti-Sephardic and mesogenic. Their notorious attitude towards Mizrahi girls in their seminaries can easily classify some as pure racists. Last week they rejected the Jewishness of the Abayudaya community in Uganda.
Some do not recognise the state of Israel, but there is a difference. Unlike the terrorists from Gaza and Lebanon they help to destroy the Jewish state with the latter’s own resources. They do it by using their parties who became for more than a decade part of the government head by a Prime-Minister who depends on them. For letting them to ransack the public purse they keep him in power so he could avoid the forthcoming trial in which he is accused of bribery and fraud. It is one of the longest corruption sagas in the history of the Middle East.
The Charedim consist of 13% of the current Israeli population, but in 2040 they would reach 33%. In 2060 they would be the majority. This is a frightening scenario that should give many sleepless nights to those who care about the future of the country. To that we must add the fact that 18% belong to the Arab community that did not perform social distancing either during the crisis, although they are much more willing to integrate in the wider society. In other words, Israel will be facing an existential threat not from Iran, but from the enemy within.
The clock is ticking. Time to embrace enlightened inclusive Judaism before a looming catastrophe.
- Dr. Saul Zadka is completing a book about Muslim radicalisation in Britain.