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Friday, January 12, 2018 

Haredis in London move to Canvey Island

Now here's an odd story involving Haredi in Britain who're going to live in the Canvey Island neighborhood:
Increasing attention is being given to what seems the most bizarre of alliances in 2018 England. It concerns the decision of some 100 ultra-Orthodox Jewish families who are currently living in Stamford Hill to move away from a part of north London where their families have lived for several decades.

Will it work or will it be seen in retrospect as a terrible mistake?

The reason for the exodus is one that affects many other residents: soaring house prices. For the ultra-Orthodox, though, this is exacerbated by the fact that they often have large families, with up to seven or more children. This means not only that they need large properties, but also that those children in turn have large families and so the need for lots of housing in the same area is in great demand.

The ulta-Orthodox have the additional problem that they cannot simply relocate to a new area at will, in the way that ordinary families can do. They are a very self-contained community and do not “do their own thing”, but live as an enclave. They also require communal facilities, such as a synagogue and kosher shops, along with a Jewish nursery and Jewish school. Any move has to be a group move, not a personal one.
On the one hand, they could be moving because of the encroach of Islamofascism in London, particularly in the east side. On the other, Haredis like the Satmar don't exactly have an issue with Islam, so it's not like they're necessarily against it taking footholds in their neighborhoods, thanks to their own ignorance.

But this article does point out the problems with clannish mentalities, and how it leads to situations where independent thinking is considered taboo. No wonder they're otherwise unprepared for knowing how to oppose Islam, if they even do at all.
However, what makes the choice so extraordinary is that Canvey Island does not have a reputation for tolerance or diversity. It is an almost exclusively white population, one of the most pro-Brexit parts of the country and solid Ukip-land.
Seriously? Because that's why the population there is making a big mistake accepting them straight off the bat. If these Haredis otherwise condone socialist welfare, that's something I assume the Brexiteers dislike. So they won't find much to like in a bunch of insular dummies who may not even serve in the army.
The early signs have been positive. Local residents have been pleased to welcome the handful of new families and taken it as a compliment that they want to settle in their area, an area which has lately failed to attract as many housebuyers as it might like. Those who have already interacted with their new ultra-Orthodox peers have admitted that they find their lifestyle strange, but also have praised them for being good neighbours. They are a remarkably law-abiding group, with hardly any instances of public disturbances, drunken parties or drug problems.

If the truth be told, I believe that it might be more difficult for the residents of Canvey Island to accept a mass move of Muslims in the same way that they have cautiously embraced this addition of ultra-Orthodox Jews. In that way, the Jewish movers have avoided the amount of suspicion they might have been exposed to if they came from slightly different ethnic or religious communities.
Granted, the Haredis in such foreign countries are usually more likely to be more respectable than Islamofascists, certainly if they don't come from a mindset like the extremists in Beit Shemesh. But that still doesn't mean their lifestyle is entirely acceptable, or that they couldn't pull some offensive illegalities. Why, what if there's child/sexual abuse behind the scenes? I'm sure no respectable Brit who cares about humanity would want that taking place, and if the Haredis coming to Canvey believe in socialist welfare, that's a good reason to turn them down, though realizing how far "liberal guilt" can run in a country like Britain, that's why they probably won't.

And who knows? It could turn out to be a mistake for the non-Jewish residents of Canvey. Especially if it turns out there's sympathisers with Islamism among the Haredis now moving there.

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  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
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