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THE FUNDAMENTALIST DILEMMA: LESSONS FROM THE ISRAELI HAREDI CASE

  • Netanel Fisher

Abstract

Este artículo investiga el “dilema fundamentalista” o la forma en que los movimientos fundamentalistas intervienen en los sistemas políticos seculares, en especial cuando alcanzan posiciones políticas destacadas que les permiten imponer su ideología extrema a toda la sociedad. Después de analizar las respuestas predominantes a este dilema, que van desde la integración política hasta la toma violenta del poder político, el artículo se vuelca al caso de los jaredíes israelíes. El artículo explora tres modelos de integración política a través de los cuales los jaredíes han aplicado las prácticas religiosas a la esfera pública: protesta, consolidación y toma del poder. La conclusión principal del estudio es que, contrariamente a la suposición comúnmente aceptada de que la integración de los fundamentalistas a la política los hace más moderados, cuanto más poder político adquieren, mayor es su tendencia a promover su agenda religiosa. Sin embargo, el caso de los jaredíes israelíes también revela las limitaciones de esta tendencia: los fundamentalistas suelen refrenar su instinto expansionista cuando tienen que tener en cuenta las reacciones no fundamentalistas.

Copyright

Corresponding author

Netanel Fisher is a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Sociology, Political Science, and Communication, Open University of Israel, Raanana, Israel; e-mail: netanelf@openu.ac.il

References

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NOTES

Author's note: Research for this article was supported by The Open University of Israel's Research Fund (grant no. 102120). I thank Menachem Friedman and Benyamin Neuberger for their valuable insights. I am also grateful to the anonymous referees for their useful comments, which helped me to improve my analysis.

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5 Bruce, Fundamentalism, 13.

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24 Almond, Appleby, and Sivan have rightly noted that the Lubavitchers are an exceptional group in the Haredi community due to their active messianism. Almond, Appleby, and Sivan, Strong Religion, 63–64. See also Brown, Benjamin, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit ve-ha-Medina,” in Keshe-Yahadut Pogeshet Medina, ed. Stern, Yedidya Z.et al. (Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2015), 114–24; Armstrong, Karen, The Battle for God: Fundamentalism in Judaism, Christianity and Islam (London: Harper Collins, 2000), 258–66, 340–44.

25 Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 238–39.

26 Ibid., 213–27.

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29 Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 254–58; Yoram Peri et al., “The ‘Religionization’ of Israeli Society,” Israel Studies Review 27 (2012): 1–30; Dan, Joseph, “ha-Harediyut ha-Mistareret: Tozar shel Yisraʾel ha-Hilonit,” Alpayim 15 (1998): 234–53.

30 Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 263.

31 Ibid., 157–62.

32 Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 240–41; Friedman, Menachem, “‘Neturei Karta’ ve-Hafganot ha-Shabat be-Yerushalayim be-1948–1950—Reka ve-Tahalikhim,” in Yerushalayim ha-Hatzuyah 1949–1967, ed. Bareli, Avi (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 1994), 224–40.

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35 Sprinzak, Ehud, Brother against Brother: Violence and Extremism in Israeli Politics from Altalena to the Rabin Assassination (New York: Free Press, 1999), 110.

36 Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 241.

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38 Gabriel Barkay, “Battle over Bones: Politics—Not Religious Law—Rules Ultra-Orthodox Demonstrators,” Biblical Archaeology Review (1997): n.p.

39 Feige, “The Vision,” 64.

40 Sharon Kedmi, “Keshe-Nagiʿa la-Kever Naʿakof Oto,” Haaretz, 12 July 2005.

41 Feige, “Hazon ha-ʿAtzamot,” 63, 73.

42 Friedman, “Neturei Karta,” 224–40.

43 Gutkind-Golan, Naomi, “Parashat Kolnoʿa Heikhal,” in le-Khiyot be-yakhad: Yahasei Datiyim-Hilonim ba-Hevrah ha-Yisraʾelit, ed. Liebman, Charles S. (Jerusalem: Keter, 1990), 7087.

44 Horowitz, Neri, “ha-Haredim u-veit ha-Mishpat ha-ʿElyon: Shvirat Keilim be-Perspectiva Historit,” Kivunim Hadashim 5 (2001): 2278, 62–67; Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 187–88; Haim Zicherman, Shahor Kahol Lavan (Tel Aviv: Miskal, 2014), 324–29.

45 Shilhav, Joseph and Friedman, Menachem, Hitpashtut Toch Histagrut (Jerusalem: Jerusalem institute for Israel Studies, 1989).

46 Ben-Porat, Guy, Between State and Synagogue: The Secularization of Contemporary Israel (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013).

47 Brown, “Ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 184–96. Some Haredi groups did identify with the state to a certain extent, but their political power was and remains small, and they do not question the ideological rejection of the secular state. See ibid., 95–143; and Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 227–34.

48 Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 187–88; Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 227; Horowitz, “ha-Haredim u-Vait ha-Mishpat,” 47–48, 54–55.

49 Ravitzky, Messianism, 368–87; Horowitz. “ha-Haredim u-Veit ha-Mishpat,” 52–53.

50 Heilman and Friedman, “Religious Fundamentalism,” 234–41.

51 Horowitz, “ha-Haredim u-Veit ha-Mishpat,” 57–60; Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 136–39.

52 Stadler, Nurit, Ben-Ari, Eyal, and Mesterman, Einat, “Terror, Aid and Organization: The Haredi Disaster Victim Identification Teams (‘ZAKA’) in Israel,” Anthropological Quarterly 78 (2005): 619–51.

53 Zicherman, Shakhor Kakhol Lavan, 99–114, 192–97, 328–39.

54 Ibid., 341–43. In this context, it is important to distinguish between Ashkenazi-Haredi parties, which maintain the separatist ideal by making due with deputy minister positions, and the Sephardic-religious party Shas, which has never shied away from fully embracing political positions. Nonetheless, similar to other scholars such as Cohen, Asher and Susser, Bernard (Israel and the Politics of Jewish Identity: The Secular–Religious Impasse [Baltimore, Md.: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000], 6970), I do not detect significant differences between Ashkenazi and Sephardi Orthodoxy with regard to their separatist common agenda. See Leon, Nissim, ha-Rediyut Raba (Jerusalem: Yad Izhak Ben-Zvi, 2010).

55 Rimlat, Noya, “ha-Mishpat ke-Sohen shel Rav Tarbutiyut,” Mishpatim 42 (2013): 773834; Fischer, Shlomo, “Yes, Israel Is Becoming More Religious,” Israel Studies Review 27 (2012): 1015; Shapira-Rosenberg, Ricky and Carmi, Ruth, Excluded, For God's Sake: Gender Segregation in the Public Space in Israel (Jerusalem: Israel Religious Action Center, 2012).

56 Cohen and Susser, Israel and the Politics, 68–69.

57 Rubinstein, Amnon and Medina, Barak, ha-Mishpat ha-Hukati shel Medinat Yisraʾel (Jerusalem: Shoken, 2005), 339–53.

58 Cohen and Susser, Israel and the Politics, 69–72.

59 Ibid., 121–26.

60 Horowitz, “ha-Haredim u-Veit ha-Mishpat,” 51; Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 198–99, 248.

61 Halperin-Kaddari, Ruth, Women in Israel: A State of Their Own (Philadelphia, Pa.: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004), 233–40; Radzyner, Amihai, “Annulment of Divorce in Israeli Rabbinical Courts,” Jewish Law Association Studies 23 (2013): 193217.

62 Netanel Fisher, “‘We Are Not True Heretics’—Non-Jewish Volunteers in the Kibbutz Movement and the Establishment of State Conversion in Israel in the 1970s,” Israel Affairs, forthcoming.

63 State of Israel, Supreme Rabbinic Court, docket no. 5489-64-1, 10 February 2008.

64 Fisher, Netanel, Etgar ha-Giyur be-Yisraʾel (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2015), 7985; Waxman, Chaim I., “Multiculturalism, Conversion, and the Future of Israel as a Modern state,” Israel Studies Review 28 (2013): 4447.

65 Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 254.

66 Fisher, The Challenge, 81–85. This example allegedly illustrates the claim that Sephardic rabbis are more moderate than their Ashkenazi colleagues. However, over the past two years Rabbi Amar's successor, Yitzhak Yosef, has enacted a strict conversion policy and has expressed himself strongly on the subject.

67 Hermann, Tamar, The Israeli Democracy Index (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2013), 6175; Brown, Benjamin, Haredim Mishilton ha-Am (Jerusalem: Israel Democracy Institute, 2012).

68 Klemp, Nathaniel J., “The Christian Right: Engaged Citizens or Theocratic Crusaders?,” Politics and Religion 3 (2010): 127; Sadowski, Political Islam; Riesebrodt, Martin, “Fundamentalism and the Resurgence of Religion,” Numen 47 (2000): 266–87.

69 Brown, “ha-Yahadut ha-Haredit,” 263–68; Zicherman, Shahor Kahol Lavan, 344–50.

70 Liebman, Charles S., “Extremism as a Religious Norm,” Journal for the Scientific Study of Religion 22 (1983): 7586.

71 Ben-Porat, Between State and Synagogue.

72 Rimlat, “ha-Mishpat ke-Sohen,” 818–34.

73 Rubin, Aviad, “The Status of Religion in Emergent Political Regimes: Lessons from Turkey and Israel,” Nations and Nationalism 19 (2013): 493512.

74 Baumgarten, Albert, “Leʾifyun ka-Kanaʾut ha-Datit?,” in Kanaʾut Datit, ed. Litvak, Meir and Limor, Ora (Jerusalem: Zalman Shazar Center for Jewish History, 2008), 4356.

75 Philpott, Daniel, “Explaining the Political Ambivalence of Religion,” American Political Science Review 101 (2007): 505–25.

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