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Theocratic DemocracyThe Social Construction of Religious and Secular Extremism$
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Nachman Ben-Yehuda

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199734863

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199734863.001.0001

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Religion, Politics, and Haredim in Israel

Religion, Politics, and Haredim in Israel

(p.13) 2 Religion, Politics, and Haredim in Israel
Theocratic Democracy

Nachman Ben-Yehuda

Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the historical development of Haredim, the main characteristics of Haredim that construct their version of Judaism and their form of a counter-cultural fundamentalist group. Estimates of their size in the population are detailed (about 8-12 percent of the Jewish population) as well as their activities in volunteering and philanthropy. Involvement of Haredim in the Israeli political system has become a major issue and its development and impact are discussed. Haredim’s participation in the Israeli economic sphere and job market is low and they depend heavily on contributions and state allocations. The reasons for, and implications of, this situation are presented and explained. The ways the Haredi-secular conflict are solved are explored emphasizing such mechanisms as the status quo and behavior in public places. Igniting this conflict to a crisis level in the 1990s is traced back to the assassination of Rabin.

Keywords:   demography, economics, Haredi, politics, religion

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