“Haredi politicians and their political allies” put immense pressure on civil authorities to do what everyone except the benighted haredim knew was madness: Pack hundreds of thousands of excited people, late at night, inside a space intended to hold a few thousand. Israel’s “worst-ever peacetime disaster” has laid bare the fact of Israel’s ongoing decline into a hapless third-world theocracy.

With this year’s event taking place in the shadow of COVID-19 — having been canceled last year because of the pandemic — consultations involving the Health Ministry, police and other officials concluded that no more than 9,000 people should be allowed to attend. [One hundred thousand attended.] Agreement to this effect was never brought to the government for approval, however, because of infighting among ministers on other matters… Meron mountainside has essentially become a kind of extra-territorial zone, over which the government has for years failed to fully impose its authority.

There’s definitely humongous huffing and puffing this morning about the scores of state officials under investigation blah blah but of course the people suicidally massing all over the place barely acknowledge – and certainly detest – the state, and certainly intend to ignore all of its reports, directives, laws… Whatever bizarre and distasteful secular emanations waft toward them, Israel’s whirling dervishes intend to keep whirling exactly the way they always have.

I mean, does it seem strange to you that in all the finger pointing no one is even considering pointing a finger at the people responsible – the rabbinical leadership of this haredi sect? That’s because it’s hopeless – Israel has allowed itself to generate huge populations of hostile irrational reactionary cultists; it has, in fact, allowed them to establish significant stretches of Israel as their own “extra-territorial zone.” Israel is becoming a failed state.

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2 Responses to ““[Multiple reports indicate that there was] immense pressure by religious lawmakers ahead of the festivities to ensure that there would be no limits placed on the number of attendees.””

  1. gasstationwithoutpumps Says:

    Careful! I think that you are being unintentionally insulting to Sufi here.

  2. ud Says:

    gasstation: That had occurred to me. (In fact one of my most vivid memories of my time at U Chicago was attending a whirling dervish performance…) But the phrase ‘whirling dervish’ has become so broad in use that it seemed reasonably to safe to use it in this context.

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