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Old 09-29-2009, 09:12 AM
 
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There is an interesting demographic shift underway in Israel, as ultraorthodox Haredi Jews now make up 25% of children entering school, and total about 700,000 members overall (out of a total population of 7.28 million), with a fertility rate of 8.8 children per woman.

The rise of the Haredi class has led to confrontations and clashes with secular Israelis, with businesses being attacked for not closing on the Sabbath, or women being assaulted and spat on for wearing skirts in certain areas. In turn, this has caused some secular Israelis to expatriate altogether, fearing the eventual rise of a Haredi-driven social theocracy of sorts.

This article describes the situation in greater depth:

A hostile takeover of Zionism - The Globe and Mail newspaper

What will a future Israel look like if the Haredi percentages continue to rise? Will children begin to leave their austere faith, and form a new secular class? Or will the secular folks increasingly be pushed away?
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:44 AM
 
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So thats why Israel has the highest fertility rate in the developed world! Lol.

I am not familiar with Haredi Jews. From the things I'm pulling up on the internet about them, they appear to be similar to Amish in terms of the way they live their life (of course, the major difference is that one group is Christian and the other is Jewish).

That fertility rate is staggering. By comparison, Niger (the country with the highest fertility rate in the world), averages 7.3. Mexico's is only about 2.3.

One things for sure, Israel won't need to worry about losing its Jewish majority anytime soon with these guys around.

Unless we know what percentage of those 8.8 children become secular Jews at adulthood, it is difficult to determine what Israel's future will be. I can definitely see Israel becoming much, much more nationalistic in the future. Hard to say what else will change in the country though.
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Old 09-30-2009, 06:36 AM
 
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I'm old and I remember a different Israel. It was an Israel I liked much better than the one I see today. I remember people like Golda Meir who were Jews in an ethnic, rather than religious sense. I remember Yitzak Rabin who tried to make peace with the Palestinians before he was assassinated by a radical among his own people. I remember a small country that was not power hungry, but simply sought a place for itself and its people in a hostile region of the world. As an American, I was proud to associate with and support this "underdog".

Now, Israel largely seems to be run by religious nuts and hawks. Where did the moderates go? Where did all these religious fundamentalist nuts come from? What justification in the modern world is there for closing all businesses on either Saturday or Sunday?

I am not a Jew or an Israeli. I am simply an interested observer. I don't like what I am seeing in Israel and alot of it has to do with these ultraorthodox nuts. I wish Israel the best. I fear for its future based on what I see right now.
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Old 09-30-2009, 01:23 PM
 
Location: Western Cary, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tablemtn View Post
There is an interesting demographic shift underway in Israel, as ultraorthodox Haredi Jews now make up 25% of children entering school, and total about 700,000 members overall (out of a total population of 7.28 million), with a fertility rate of 8.8 children per woman.

The rise of the Haredi class has led to confrontations and clashes with secular Israelis, with businesses being attacked for not closing on the Sabbath, or women being assaulted and spat on for wearing skirts in certain areas. In turn, this has caused some secular Israelis to expatriate altogether, fearing the eventual rise of a Haredi-driven social theocracy of sorts.

This article describes the situation in greater depth:

A hostile takeover of Zionism - The Globe and Mail newspaper

What will a future Israel look like if the Haredi percentages continue to rise? Will children begin to leave their austere faith, and form a new secular class? Or will the secular folks increasingly be pushed away?
This is interesting when you also look at the population shift of non Jewish people in Israel. I see the majority shifting to non-Jewish in my lifetime, and the ultraorthodox being a small minority. What will Israel look like when Islam is the major religion not by war, but by population shift?
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:05 PM
 
Location: Cook County
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markg91359 View Post
I'm old and I remember a different Israel. It was an Israel I liked much better than the one I see today. I remember people like Golda Meir who were Jews in an ethnic, rather than religious sense. I remember Yitzak Rabin who tried to make peace with the Palestinians before he was assassinated by a radical among his own people. I remember a small country that was not power hungry, but simply sought a place for itself and its people in a hostile region of the world. As an American, I was proud to associate with and support this "underdog".

Now, Israel largely seems to be run by religious nuts and hawks. Where did the moderates go? Where did all these religious fundamentalist nuts come from? What justification in the modern world is there for closing all businesses on either Saturday or Sunday?

I am not a Jew or an Israeli. I am simply an interested observer. I don't like what I am seeing in Israel and alot of it has to do with these ultraorthodox nuts. I wish Israel the best. I fear for its future based on what I see right now.
Wasn't the whole concept of Zionism and the founding of Israel post WW2 extreme? I don't think you could call the founding of that state the result of a moderate way of thinking. I could understand the view that they were more of an "underdog" 50 years ago, but I cannot recall a time where Israel was run by moderates. I fully believe you know more about the subject than I and would be interested in examples of their moderate approaches of the past.
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Old 09-30-2009, 02:57 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn
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Originally Posted by Orangeish View Post
Wasn't the whole concept of Zionism and the founding of Israel post WW2 extreme?
Since when is the establishment of any state anything but extreme? It implies the overturning of an existing order. Right here on the North American continent, a bunch of rebels took on the British Empire to establish a new state. And barely 80 years later, a group of those people had the (somewhat less than moderate) idea about another new state--that one was called the Confederacy, in case it needs further clarification.

North America has no exclusive rights in this area; pick your continent. People everywhere on Earth have made nations for themselves. Sometimes it involves war, sometimes not. But in all cases, it interferes with the political arrangements that had existed previously. So tell me where the Zionist dream of a Jewish state is so extreme that it's set apart from any other?
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:27 PM
 
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Israel does not have the highest fertility rate- the Palestinians in the West Bank have that distinction, and it's a major reason why the whole West Bank situation is a trainwreck collision course.
I agree with the above poster- countries come and go, rulers and systems change, and it's usually messy. As the writer Rebecca West said, "I hate the stink of dying empires." Israel and ohbtheway, Jordan, came from the breakup of the British empire, and Israel/Jordan and other Mideast dustups came from the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. I think there is some idea in some quarters that there was a country called Palestine, ruled by (Arab/non-Jewish) people called Palestinians, and that Jews came in and got handed the place. Before recent decades, "Palestinians" meant all the inhabitants of that former province of the Ottoman Empire, then administered by the British empire. The Jewish contingents of the British Army in World War II were called "Palestinian," a geographic, not cultural/ethnic designation.
That said, I would suggest that Israel give the West Bank back to Jordan (which the British intended as the non-Jewish/Arab country) and then, if there's military or terrorist activity, it's the country of Jordan at fault.
And those settlements? A real thumb in the eye of progress. Unless Israel wants to rule like the old South Africa, it's just not managable with 250,000+ "settlers" in islands in a sea of non-citizen Palestinians.
A place can't be owned by one bunch of people if there are two bunches of people there. One-eighth of Israel proper is Arab. What constitutes a Jewish state? I don't know. Maybe it's the definition of "homel, where they have to take you in." Demographics alone will end the Jewish state, and it surrounded by millions of people (or their governments) who are committed to the absolute annihilaton of Jewish Israelis. They seem unwilling to give that up. I don't think they give a rat butt about the stateless Palestinians, having left them dangling for 50+ years as a political flashpoint.
There should be a problem with no possible answer, but if there is such a thing, this is it.
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Old 09-30-2009, 03:32 PM
 
Location: Cook County
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Originally Posted by Fred314X View Post
Since when is the establishment of any state anything but extreme? It implies the overturning of an existing order. Right here on the North American continent, a bunch of rebels took on the British Empire to establish a new state. And barely 80 years later, a group of those people had the (somewhat less than moderate) idea about another new state--that one was called the Confederacy, in case it needs further clarification.

North America has no exclusive rights in this area; pick your continent. People everywhere on Earth have made nations for themselves. Sometimes it involves war, sometimes not. But in all cases, it interferes with the political arrangements that had existed previously. So tell me where the Zionist dream of a Jewish state is so extreme that it's set apart from any other?
You really don't see how the founding of modern Israel differs from your examples? and I quote "There is no other example in human history of a nation being restored after such a long period of existence as a Diaspora." I am kind of stunned somebody with a straight face could compare the founding of Israel (with all the history, the geographical region and different religious implications/ethnicities involved) to the American Confederacy, but I am not going to hijack the thread with that. I was not in any way implying that new statehood was ever moderate, I was posing a question to the previous poster to provide examples of their moderate leadership.

Last edited by Orangeish; 09-30-2009 at 03:50 PM..
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Old 06-27-2010, 03:29 PM
 
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I'll stick to the topic - Ultra Orthodox Jews and their hostile taking over of Zionism

I'm an Israeli and though the situation nowadays in Israel seems promising (the overwhelming majority is pretty much western in all aspects of life)
there is a growing apprehension of the threat these folks pose for the western democratic values we hold so dear.

Then again, if you look at their numbers 10 years ago, do the math with the extremely high birth rate, you'd be suprised to find a slower than expected growth. A lot of these folks turn away from religion, often doubting the existence of God altogether and the meaning of religious pious life.
Unfortunately many others choose to stick to their guns and lead a life devoid of any secular content.

BTW, a religious state wouldn't mean a nationalistic one... the other way around.
considering that a religious state with poor education in the sciences and lacking the technological edge Israel currently enjoys, they would quickly succumb to the neighboring arab countries and become a persecuted people once again... only this time in the middle east.
Sure gonna miss cold old Rzeczpospolita Polska
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Old 06-27-2010, 05:50 PM
 
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They certainly alienate American Jews, in particular Reform and Conservative since many ultra Orthodox don't consider them Jews. In the long term it will hurt Israel which is dependent on the charity and support of American Jews both through what is given directly to Israel by Jews and then by the US govt.
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