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Friday, September 23, 2016 

Could there be an impending culture war?

Isi Liebler wrote about the risk of tensions the Haredi political parties are causing with non-Haredis, and why they should cut it out. However, there's one part here I must take issue with:
Unlike their counterparts in the Diaspora and contrary to historical precedent, these rabbis discourage gainful employment and encourage reliance on social welfare, insisting that their followers engage in “full-time” learning. Aside from the poverty this imposes, it presents an ever-growing burden on the economy. These rabbis also issue edicts adamantly opposing the draft. This generates enormous resentment among the vast majority of Israelis who are enraged that their taxes are employed to subsidize those who reject productive employment and refuse to share the defense burden.
Now he's right that quite a few of the Haredi spiritual leaders in Israel are making their followers rely on socialism. But he's wrong that their counterparts overseas encourage the opposite, if we're talking about Satmar and Skver tribes, who rely on welfare just as much as a lot of the Haredis here are too, and live an all but segregationist lifestyle, replete with censorship tactics involved, and the Satmar even forbid women to drive cars. Some of this derives from Europe's own socialism, which they brought with them to other countries. How Liebler thought Haredis living in foreign countries were entirely different is beyond me.

Still, much of his article is very much on the mark, and provides a lot to think about, including that the Haredis here are going to have to cut out what they're doing now that's bad, if they really don't want to cause tension with non-Haredis that could've been avoided.

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