HAREDIM: The Jew Talibans


It’s since the foundation of the state of Israel in 1948 that the Israeli Arab conflict is bathing the Middle East in blood. The Palestinian question, unable to find a real peace solution, can only increase a climate of perpetual war, where hate and mutual distrust seem revenue even in people’s DNA. Palestinian children learn to hate Israel in the dusty streets of their villages, often the theater of armed conflict with the occupying army, from the poverty of their families and from the death they often see. So, once adults, they will be ready to become martyrs or human bombs against their enemy. But Jew children too grow in this climate, a mixture of hate and perpetual insecurity. And so hate, insecurity and violence are transmitted as a curse from one generation to the next. If this chain will not be broken soon, it will surely origin other wars and deaths across the Middle East. Israel, since its emergence, has always been living with the syndrome of encirclement, leading it to develop the third or fourth strongest army in the world.


Actually the Arab world borders three-quarters of Israeli territory, but still the fatal blow will not come from the Arab world. Its real enemy is inside, pampered, protected and promoted. It soared in recent years thanks to the immigration waves from the United States and Eastern Europe and their prolific women (even ten children per family), so that in fifteen years it could become a serious problem for the State of Israel .

Haredi Men only

We are talking about the Haredi (which means “those who tremble at the word of God”), that vast galaxy of religious groups constituting the so-called Jewish fundamentalism, who consider the state of Israel itself an heresy and a living sin. They, just like Talibans with the Koran, consider the Torah as the supreme and absolute guide of their lives. They hate democracy, Christianity, Islam, and would force all Israelis to follow their laws.


In a few years more than half of the city of Jerusalem will be in their hands, and their influence is expected to grow in Israel, even if they are not directly involved in the political life of the country. Governments that have taken place in the past decades have favored a policy of settlements (on land destined to the Palestinians according to UN resolutions), creating entire cities for those who do not want to be contaminate by Israelis sinners.

Ultra Orthodox protest in Jerusalem

This has always been an additional source of conflict with the Palestinians, but now is more and more a real political suicide of the Jewish state. The ultra-Orthodox are divided into two main groups: the first group are the “Haredim”: they do not give the state, considered an heresy, any religious legitimacy, but accept it because it allows them to live according to their customs and provides many advantages.



The second group are the “Datiim” (Religious), who consider instead the State of Israel as the only place to wait for the Messiah. Both, however, hate the secular and democratic Israel. This second group represents the majority in the Israeli army (Israeli sources) and is present to a large extent also in the Knesset (Israel’s parliament). These fundamentalist groups are more and more seen, from the rest of the Israeli population, as a burden and a threat to the very existence of the state. Consider that the ultra-Orthodox equate those who do not follow the letter of their rigid religious belief with unbelievers without any value, even if they are Jews like them.


According to this view, especially for the religious ultra-right which belongs to Datiim, it is not crazy to think that, after removing the Palestinian question (not physically, of course, but causing their exodus), non-Orthodox will constitute the real problem inside the Israeli state, which could lead to a bloody civil war (feared by Sharon himself) for the imposition of their “Sharia” over all Israel. Basically, Judaism is a religious identity and the ultra-Orthodox consider themselves as the true custodians of religious purity; here lies the risk of degeneration for Israeli society. Considering the history of Judaism, it will be difficult, for “secular” Israel to offer valid arguments against these theories.


The “inside” future of Israel will be very hard. The historical concept of Zionism itself (the idea of a secular and democratic state with a Jewish majority) is destined to an increasingly uncertain future. Everything will depend on which group will prevail in Israel – the ultra-Orthodox Haredim (anti-Zionist) or Datiim (nationalists) – and on the the internal alliances with the secular and Arab Israeli component, taking into account that Muslim population is steadily growing. So the question then is: will the balance within Israeli society be able to resist to the contradictory and increasing strain of religious fundamentalism?