Throughout the world, and certainly in western nations, Jews play a full and active role in civil society. Yet in Israel itself one encounters the spectacle of Jews refusing to integrate. Nevertheless, in holding themselves apart from their neighbors, scorning customs and viewpoints they regard as illegitimate, the Haredi also echo the Zionist state in its behavior towards a sea of “others” both within and beyond its borders. The irony, then, is two-fold- first, in setting themselves apart as did the Jews of old in hostile Christian lands, and second, applying the lessons of Jewish chauvinism against the very society which gives political form to such values. In this sense, this bitter travesty-the rise of the ultra-orthodox- was an inevitable and logical outcome of long-standing policies.
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