November 17, 2012

Leave the Ultra-Orthodox Alone

Eetta Prince-Gibson, Moment Magazine

As Israelis gear up for elections in January 2013, we’ll be hearing politicians calling for an “equal draft.” The demand that Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox, men be conscripted into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) just like everyone else is very popular these days. Although this sounds like a bid for equality and social justice, it is really just the opposite—an attempt to stir up a disaffected public through a cynical appeal to the politics of resentment.

Not that we, the non-Haredi majority, don’t have good reasons to be resentful. Long-standing political agreements have allowed nearly two-thirds of all Haredi men between the ages of 35 and 54 to be “employed” in full-time religious study, living—albeit in poverty—on government subsidies paid for by taxes...

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TAGGED: Israel, Hasidic Jews

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