The Zionist ultra-Orthodox are cashing in their I.O.U.

Haaretz, 30.11.11

Nahal Haredi soldier - Archive: Eyal Warshavsky / BauBau - 30112011
Nahal Haredi soldier - Archive: Eyal Warshavsky / BauBau - 30112011

A Nahal Haredi soldier. The ultra-Orthodox nationalists, or Hardalim, have a lust for battle and a willingness to 'die for our country.'

Photo by: Archive: Eyal Warshavsky / BauBau


We could have clung to the historical, secular explanations for our ingathering in this land (briefly, the "final solution" of that same civilized Christian West, which also expelled us from the countries of the Diaspora ). This would have committed us to the humanitarian and earthly values and perceptions that have emerged from every struggle against ethnic persecution and oppression. But the historical explanation would also have obliged us to admit our similarity to other colonialist movements, and to understand that what was possible in the 18th and 19th centuries in America and Australia is not possible here and now.

To escape the contradictions created by history and its lessons, we chose to buy the meta-historical explanation of our armed, fortified presence here: no more and no less than God's promise to Abraham, from whom all of us are directly descended. This promise is what permits us, in our view, to do whatever we please to the people that dwells here, the natives of this land: to expel, to concentrate, to divide, to blockade, to impoverish, to dry out, to bomb, to uproot, to dispossess.

This same divine promise grants all Jews everywhere - even those who have never set foot in Israel - more rights in this land than any Palestinian who was born here. This land is ruled by a state that refuses to be a state of its actual citizens and thinks only of potential citizens from the Diaspora.

Ethnic head-counting is second nature to this state. Thus the Haredim and Hardalim know that the second asset they are selling is beyond price: their high birthrate. In the Haredi view, this high birthrate is worth more than any military service or tax payment could ever be.

The Hardalim, in contrast, combine this with a third asset for sale: lust for battle, and for ascending the military ranks, and a willingness to "die for our country" - all of which have been on the wane, relatively speaking, among other sectors of the population. In a state that has done everything in its power over the last several decades to miss any opportunity for peace, this military enthusiasm is a vital asset - especially as good neighborly relations in this region now seem more unachievable than ever before.

Hardalim and Haredim see that most of the Israeli Jewish public has eagerly bought these inexhaustible assets, so now they are continuing down the same consistent path. The Haredim and Hardalim simply long for wholeness: the divine promise and the laws of kashrut. They are offering soldiers in the demographic warfare in exchange for the non-mixing of women and men in the army.


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