Sara Yael Hirschhorn tries to help Israel come to grips with its death cult.

With buses being torched on streets, violent protests against both law-enforcement and journalists, the inability to implement effective crowd-control over thousands (and the admission that such control was effectively impossible), the complete failure to keep institutions closed and public gatherings within specified regulatory limits, and the abdication of enforcement mechanisms, it seems clear that the State of Israel has lost control over the Haredi, or ultra-Orthodox Jewish, sector of its population. 

… The State of Israel [has] come to the conclusion that [it] simply can’t impose the conditions required by law on a resistant and sometimes violent community of over one million citizens. 

Because there is no equal application of the law, lawbreakers win widespread impunity, and with no political leadership to ensure the primacy of the law, the national interest, and the safeguarding of life, Israel is well on its way to being a failed state... This breakdown of social and political relations should be understood as a civil war.

… The behavior of the Haredim, both by their willful disobedience of COVID restrictions and their now violent resistance, is effectively spreading terror amongst the Israeli population at large. And other Israelis – Jews and Arabs, religious and secular, men and women, are afraid.

[This] is now a concerted, coordinated effort to embed and embolden Haredi autonomy from state control and wider social norms. Their leadership, if not all members of the community, understand that the subtext of the pandemic is about power.

[T]he ultra-Orthodox are no longer acting out confusion, negligence, situational difficulties, or financial and spiritual strain.

There is a deliberate intent and concerted effort to wield Judaism as a weapon and to use the Torah in service of a kind of Jewish terrorism – and no regard to who may get hurt. There should be no space for a death cult – complete with the glorification of the martyrs – in Israeli Jewish society.  

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