The Haredim in Israel
Dec 13, 2010 by Mordechai Beck in The Christian Century
No week passes in Israel without an article being published—usually negative in tone—about the Haredi community. According to the Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, the Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox Jews, constitute about 8 percent of Israel’s population, or some 600,000 to 700,000 people. It is the fastest-growing segment in Israel.
What worries many Israelis, religious as well as secular, about the growth of the Haredim is that they reject political Zionism, the enterprise that established the state of Israel in 1948. Their first loyalty is to their spiritual leaders, not the state.