Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Hamodia: Create an autonomous Charedi region in Israel

Hamodia today published an article suggesting that the Charedim set up an autonomous self governing region in Israel. Autonomous meaning full self governance except for foreign affairs. The region would have police but no army.  The writer believes that this will work economically as well as Charedim will be able to work without the having to obtain academic degrees and with no problems of tznius in the workplace.

IMHO, this is absolutely ridiculous for a number of reasons. Leaving aside the fact that the government would never do this, this could never work. Where would the money come from? Who would work? You can say that you don't believe in academic degrees but the fact is that a lot of vital jobs in society require a lot of secular education. Who will serve as the doctors in such a society? Who will run the power plants? Will everything be run on Shabbos with Shabbos goyim? It is nice to say that the Charedi autonomy will have no foreign policy and no army, so who will protect it? The Israeli army? If so they will need to pay for that. The bottom line is that Charedi society in Israel today has no way to generate anywhere near the sums of money required for autonomy.

Another big question would be who would lead this autonomy? The Chasidim or the Litvaks, or the Sefardim? Who will provide the Daas Torah, The Rebbe's or R' Shteinman or R' Ovadya? There is so much internal fighting and politics in the Charedi world today I don't see how this could ever work.


MIghty Garnel Ironheart said...

So speaking as a Canadian here's how it would work.
In Canada we have Quebec. Quebec is French and, as the French are wont to do, they despise and look down on everyone else in the country. But they have a problem. Their little socialist province is quite poor so the only way they can maintain their generous social programs and active persecution of their English population is to demand money from the rest of Canada or they will hold a referendum and separate. To keep the peace we send them money and put up with their insults. If we stopped or they actually separated they would collapse as a society within a month from bankruptcy.
This is how your Chareidi autonomous zone would be. No one would work or if they did it would be low level menial jobs because that's all they have the education for. They would demand the rest of Israel continue to pay their bills in return for the privilege of living next to this holy zone.

SF2K01 said...

Strictly speaking, this already exists in most Haredi exclusive areas and settlements since the army doesn't play much of a role in their daily lives anyway. The same thing that happens now, will happen then. Someone needs a doctor? They will either leave the community to go to the hospital or they will bring in an outside doctor to do what they need him to. Electricity? They'll continue to buy it from the rest of Israel. Being Autonomous doesn't mean they wouldn't be able to trade with Israel.

They're already culturally isolated. Being autonomous would only mean that the legal structures would be strictly internal and we'd see the rise of a Jewish Taliban that had legal powers to enforce their understanding of Halacha.

Uncle Shimmy said...

Haredim better be careful about their wishes. If they can get it, secular Jews could set up zones in which Haredim were not welcome. What happens if each zone has to provide its own utilities, medical services, defense, and most of all, cash?