Sea of Haredim 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
An op-ed in the haredi newspaper Hamodia on Wednesday said in light of hostility
towards the ultra- Orthodox community in Israeli society, an autonomous
semi-sovereign entity should be created.
The article denounced in
particular the national-religious Bayit Yehudi party for allying with Yesh Atid
and for, according to the op-ed, seeking to allow “fictitious conversions, civil
marriage and injury and interference with the haredi community.”
is the official mouthpiece for the hassidic Agudat Yisrael haredi party, a
constituent of the United Torah Judaism Knesset faction.
“If there is no
change in direction in our favor then an option which must be considered, if
there is no other choice, is to establish a Jewish autonomy in the Land of
Israel,” wrote the author Yaakov Shmaonovitz.
administrative and governmental independence for internal affairs without
diplomatic sovereignty, with constitutional and economic independence, a police
force [but] without an army and foreign policy.”
A spokesman for United
Torah Judaism said to The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday that the party did not
agree with the article and it was not worth commenting on.
reasons that if haredim could establish the cities of Bnei Brak, Elad, Modi’in
Illit, as well as the Laniado Medical Center in Netanya and the Ezer Mizion
health support service then it could also establish the infrastructure of a
The article said that a haredi autonomy would not
need to “waste huge amounts of money” on sports, “strange culture” or drug
The Hiddush religious-freedom lobbying group
condemned the article, saying that it was yet another example of “the hostility
that Agudat Yisrael demonstrates towards the State of Israel,” and the refusal
of its leaders to bear the responsibility for the economic and security burdens
of the state.
“The opposition and enmity of Hamodia is so great that it
would prefer to divide the country into cantons instead of arriving at a
reasonable arrangement for obligatory service,” said Hiddush director and Reform
Rabbi Uri Regev.
In January 2012, then-MK Einat Wilf suggested that if
there are communities unwilling to contribute to the Zionist foundations of the
country, then a last resort could be to set them free to manage their affairs by
themselves without the interference, or financial support, of the state.