The Haredi scholar-society and the military draft in Israel: Counter-nationalism and the imagined military symbiosis

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Abstract

This chapter examines the phenomenon of deferments of army enlistment in Israel of haredi (ultra-Orthodox) men studying in yeshivas. The author claims that counternationalist argument enables us to understand the progress that the haredi scholarsociety has made from a sectorial entity that kept itself removed from the nation-state, and viewed the state as an undesired political fact, to an entity that maintains its own counter-nationalism. This social cultural religious entity regards itself as a symbiotic or active partner in the national endeavor, specifically through the insular haredi ethos. The author employs the term counter-nationalism to describe an approach that takes a critical view of nationalism, but has in effect adapted it to the structure of the discourse, organization, and aims of the hegemonic national ideology. This perspective raises the possibility that the ultra-Orthodox are beginning to view themselves as maintaining a complementary partnership with the Israeli culture, and to a considerable extent have even constructed a similar cultural structure, a sort of mirror-image of the militaristic one. Moreover, this study even suggests that the haredi mainstream seeks recognition for itself as the spiritual elite troops of the State of Israel.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComparative Perspectives on Civil Religion, Nationalism, and Political Influence
PublisherIGI Global
Pages210-225
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781522505174
ISBN (Print)1522505164, 9781522505167
DOIs
StatePublished - 27 Jun 2016

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© 2017 by IGI Global. All rights reserved.

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