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Paper Calls for Independent Hareidi Entity in Israel

As tension over IDF enlistment continues, hareidi daily proposes solving problem with hareidi autonomy.
By Maayana Miskin
First Publish: 4/10/2013, 2:39 PM

Hareidi Jews in Mea Shearim
Hareidi Jews in Mea Shearim
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In an indication that feelings of estrangement in the hareidi-religious community have hit a new high, the hareidi news outlet Hamodia has proposed creating a hareidi autonomy within the borders of Israel.

In an article published Wednesday, the paper attacked religious-Zionist politicians who formed an alliance with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party rather than with hareidi parties, and laid out the significant ideological differences between the hareidi-religious and religious-Zionist communities.

The article then accused, “Led by the media and Supreme Court, which are fed by left-wing organizations funded by anti-Semites, they chose to deny the status quo which was achieved through great effort, and to break all the agreements, like the authorization of fictitious conversions and civil marriage, and to interfere with - and harm - the hareidi community.”

“If there is no improvement, there is an option that must be considered as a last resort – to create a Jewish autonomy in the Land of Israel,” it continued.

“Autonomy means administrative independence regarding internal affairs, without the status of a sovereign state, with legislative and economic independence and police, and without an army or foreign policy,” it stated.

According to the writers, the plan has a real chance of success. “If we managed to establish Bnei Brak, Elad and Modiin Illit, Laniado [hospital] and Ezer Mitzion, we can also establish an electric company, highways, and whatever else is needed,” they wrote.

The article suggested that economic independence would benefit the hareidi community, as it would allow for a system in which hareidi workers are not limited by non-recognition of their academic background or by immodesty in the workplace.  In addition, it argued, the hareidi autonomy would not need to spend large sums on sports, modern culture, prisons or treatment centers for drug addiction.

“Torah scholars will be respected members of society and will get decent stipends, and we will ensure housing at reasonable prices,” it added.