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Friday, October 29, 2021 

Why Israeli right-wingers/conservatives should help Haredis who want to leave the lifestyle

Here's a report that made me think about why it'd be strongly advised for right-wing/conservative Israelis to make sure they're ready and willing to help ultra-Orthodox practitioners leave the lifestyle for simpler ones if they so wish:
A radio advertisement for Hillel, an association that provides assistance to haredim who wish to leave the haredi community, was disqualified from broadcasting by the Second Television and Radio Authority in July, on the grounds that it violated the authority’s directive not to offend the ultra-Orthodox public. The broadcast included testimony from three former haredi youths who found help and support from the association when they decided to leave their community,

Hillel has appealed the decision and on October 26, the High Court will have to rule on the matter.

Considering the large number of documentaries and news reports broadcast on the various channels of the Second TV and Radio Authority that are not particularly favorable to the ultra-Orthodox, this banning doesn’t seem consistent. Sources have suggested that the reason may be a change in Hillel’s policy – from a seemingly neutral position of helping only those who exited the community to one that appears to be becoming an outreach organization.
Regardless of that, of course it's wrong to censor such advertisements out of moral panic mentality, and because the Haredi gurus demanded it. That said, while I think it'd be better if Haredis living in overly stringent lifestyles should be able to leave it without drama and opposition from the higher echelons, there's reasons why I'm disappointed with Hillel:
THE HILLEL organization is 20 years old. In the fall of 1991, 17-year-old Shai Horowitz appeared on TV in prime time and moved millions of spectators as he revealed his personal story as a young haredi who lost his faith and decided to move out of his community. The hardships awaiting any haredi who would take that step were until then known to few, but Horowitz’s testimony aroused a lot of interest. When he mentioned that he wanted to create an organization to help those who, like him, wished to leave the haredi sector, a group of men and women from various backgrounds showed up and deiced to help, including Arnon Yekutieli, a member of the Meretz list in the Jerusalem municipality, who provided significant assistance.
Since leftists coming from such notorious movements as the anti-religious Meretz party are involved, and realizing the group could be as anti-Zionist/Israel as the Satmar clan itself (and also Neturei Karta, which is especially horrific), that's why I'm unable to appreciate the alleged intentions of Hillel as much as I'd like to. And that's why I'm disappointed if right-wing movements haven't provided aid to Haredis who want to exit the lifestyle, because what if Hillel is conducting leftist ideology, and as a result, those who want to leave end up sticking with an anti-Zionist mindset just like what the clan they're leaving could harbor? Point: if conservatives don't prove they have what it takes to aid dissidents from Haredi communities, they could end up finding enemies stacked against their causes that the right-wing Israeli movements would be better off not having to deal with, all because they turned a blind eye to their needs earlier, and how the Satmar could've influenced their subjects for the worse.

The vital point is - the issue of ultra-Orthodox who want to leave the lifestyle cannot be left solely for leftists to monopolize, because then, if conservatives won't help the Haredis making an exit, said departees, if they harbor mindsets hurtful to Israel could ironically remain with such thinking, or worse. And that's something we don't need.

Since we're on the subject, here's also a recent report of Lev Tahor cultists who were caught trying to enter Mexico en route to Iran:
Members of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) Lev Tahor cult have been prevented by Mexican authorities from traveling to Iran and have been returned to Guatemala, where they have resided since 2014, Mexican media reported.

The cult, numbering around 300 individuals, the majority of whom are Israeli, has made several attempts to reach Iran, first in 2018 and most recently last week.

According to the haredi news site Behaderey Haredim, the cult’s members are attempting to fly to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and continue to neighboring Iran, hoping to more freely conduct their affairs without state interference.
The irony is that, if Lev Tahor's cultists are demonic-minded enough, Iran's autocrats surely would give them more freedom of conduct without too much interference, because they're basically on the side of such evil, regardless of whether Iran's Islamofascists would turn against them in the end. This is another reason why conservatives should be willing, in addition, to help Haredis who could be mixed up with such awful cults to get out of them, because if they don't, there could be a whole crisis of anti-Israeli ultra-Orthodox adherents who're willing to enable jihadists to destroy Israel in the forseeable future. And that too is something we don't need.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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