They want nothing to do with us

Interesting Israel Radio interview with a haredi man from the extreme fringes of haredi society, the Eda Haredit, at a protest against haredi army enlistment on Monday:

“It states quite clearly in the Torah that if everyone studied Torah then there would be no need for anyone to protect us. The seculars don’t learn Torah; they have nothing to do, so they should enlist into the army. The Eda Haredit is not at all interested in the existence of the State of Israel, so it doesn’t make sense to draft its sons into the Israel Defense Forces.

“We lived quite well here before. We didn’t need an army. We created the occupation and now we need soldiers. The haredim were always opposed to the very establishment of the state. The people who established the state and ignored the positions of the haredim that don’t want a state fell into a trap, and now they want us to help them. It’s not logical.”

Interviewer: If that’s the case, some would say, why not live somewhere else?

Yochanan: This is not private property. We live here, and the State of Israel also lives here. They’re not the owners of this land.

Interviewer: If, God forbid, someone comes to attack you, do you expect the state to defend you?

Yochanan: Let’s say that I do. But the problem is who caused the situation that led to me being attacked in the first place? That’s the question.

According to Israel Radio, at the protest rally against the haredi draft on Monday night in Shabbat Square in Jerusalem, posters were on display which said: “We didn’t take any money from you, so we’re not beholden unto you and your decrees.”

“We will not submit to the decrees of the state, and we will not serve in the army.”

For those of us who perhaps don’t understand the mindset of the Eda Haredit, the above interview sums it up nicely. I think it also shows that

a) The state is clearly not going to draft these people into the army
b) There is absolutely no way to integrate this group of people into the larger population, even in a way that allows them to keep the essentials of their way of life; they live completely in another reality to the secular/ national religious majority here. They want nothing to do with us.

How do you integrate a whole population whose entire purpose for being is not to be integrated into anything? Whose entire way of life is dedicated to staying just the way they are? And if they are not integrated into the state, if they don’t serve, and don’t work, and they grow in size, how will we all live together in this tiny, troubled country?

The following video is from the rally. It’s in Yiddish, the language Jews spoke in the Diaspora..

0 thoughts on “They want nothing to do with us

  1. An important question is how many people/what % of the population are we talking about? Eda Haredit are not all Haredim, I don’t believe. Aren’t these the extremists of a minority?

  2. They’re idiots.

    No, they’re not ready for combat duty or anything like that. But what they can do is paint tanks, cook, wash and clean up and help out. They don’t need to carry a gun to do that. Draft them for jobs other than combat, and don’t even give them basic combat training. Just put them to work for the general good.

    If they don’t want to go, do what we did in the U.S. Send a few to jail. Then you’ll either see the draftees running away at 18, or you’ll see them complying. The law is the law, and it should apply to everyone. Enough with this bullshit separatism.

  3. I would not advise to send a few of them to jail but to treat them as illigal aliens by cutting benefits due to citizens who have the sense of responsibility towards the State. And yes, I would agree that they should serve their time as tank painters, cooks, wash and clean up, and help out, just as Joshua did to the Gibeonites: “Hewers of wood and drawers of water for the Army. (Joshua 9:21) They should be glad that’s not for the whole Community, but for the Army only.

  4. I agree summerseale, but no cleaning stuff, please :-). on the serious side: old bad habits die hard, most difficult to change or break. I really wish & hope that this one succeeds now. Not only for the sake of democracy and fairness but also for the sake and ultimately the bennefit of these ‘idiots’. As soon as they will contribute something to the society they live in, their demands to the society will also grow….some sort of start of communication.

  5. The problem is that they’re living in the middle ages. Literally. Israel, like America and some other countries at this point, has to make a painful choice: does it finally drop the superstitious peasants and ways and emerge completely as a technological society in the 21st century, or does it get kept back by things which belong in ancient times?

    This is a problem going on in the USA as well which you can see with the fundamentalists trying to take education and other things back to the middle ages as well. They’re feeling the pressure from modernity at this point and they’re terrified that they are losing, so they’ve become more extreme over the last two decades.

    I believe the same is happening on a faster time scale with Israel as well. And it’s time for Israel to choose.

    I actually see this as a phenomenon all over the world now, because of the internet. It has accelerated much in society, even in the Arab world.

  6. You have to be an old timer to know that if you take out of context”YOU created the problem”

    in a way, they are right. I am glad to have been here from the earliest days of the STATE but we created more than the problem “they” refer to.
    Its chilling to read and stum suggestions of what to do with them!!!! are not the answer. Is there a real dialogue taking place or as it seems Don Quixote BIBI et all are flaying at windmills?

  7. Zelda, I really didn’t understand your comment at all.

    And there has been a dialogue about this since a long time. It’s just that the religious side never wants to listen or even talk about it.

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