Monday, December 10, 2012
Demographics Is Destiny: In Israel & Beyond
Disturbing story of ultra-orthodox zealots harassing an 8 year old orthodox girl, in the town of Beit Shemesh, for "not dressing modestly enough." While there are many religiously observant Jews that "live and let live", there is a growing number of religious fascists who seek to impose their ways on secular and even on modern-orthodox Israelis. Not only is this a social issue, but it also has real economic repercussions, because of the inadequate secular education and participation in the labor market of many Haredim. What is most disturbing is that Israel's dynamic, democratic, pluralist, prosperous, capitalist qualities will erode as its Haredi population continues to grow, for demographics is destiny. Even if good governance were to remain, no policy, no program can make a nation better, more productive and progressive than its people are. The great irony is that the modern, secular majority is funding its own displacement via a welfare system that allows for the Haredi to have large families that few could possibly maintain on their own.