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 counter-nationalist argument enables us to understand the progress that the haredi scholar-society 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 publicationResearch Anthology on Religious Impacts on Society
PublisherIGI Global
Pages626-637
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781799834366
ISBN (Print)9781799834359
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

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© 2021, IGI Global.

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