Wednesday, February 3, 2021

How To Make Society Hate You

Resentment towards the charedi community has long been a feature of society in Israel. Sometimes, it's through no fault of the charedim themselves; it's simply because they represent religious piety, which makes many feel insecure. But there have also been valid reasons for the antipathy. Most significant of these, of course, is the charedi policy of not sharing the national responsibility of serving in the IDF, and not even showing gratitude and respect for those who do. Then there's the economic aspect of their being a drain on society. For these reasons and more, charedim have been broadly resented, which has often been a dynamic in elections.

But never in the history of Israel has the charedi community been resented as much as it is now.

Everyone is suffering from the lockdown. And the reason why it is dragging out so long is that the infection rate is not going down particularly fast and the hospitals are full. This in turn is because despite the fact that over three million people have been vaccinated, that still leaves several million who have not been vaccinated, and are vulnerable to the new, more contagious strains. And a disproportionate number of these people - around a third of all infections - are from the charedi community. Even though this is to some degree simply a result of their living in more crowded conditions, it's also due to a prevalent pattern of keeping schools open, holding large weddings and even larger funerals, and so on. There's disregard for precautions in every sector of society, but much more so (and more visibly so) in the charedi sector. And so the entire country is paying a steep price due to the charedi disregard for how their actions affect others.

Furthermore, there is immense resentment when people have to curtail their own lives, and yet they see that the charedi community does not have to do the same. The rest of the country has to deal with their kids being at home, but most charedim send their kids to yeshivah. The rest of the country has to make tiny weddings, but many charedim continue to make huge weddings. Over half a million people in Israel have been fined by the police for Covid infractions; when people are fined for exercising or opening their business, and then they see videos of charedim freely congregating in illegal crowds of  tens of thousands of people for a funeral, this naturally causes great resentment.

It's not yet clear to what extent this unprecedented anti-charedi resentment will play out in the next elections. Some good might come out of it; it may cause the chareid parties to lose political power. Which in turn will mean a decline in their ability to further drive themselves down the path of economic self-destruction (and the economic destruction of Israel). But either way, the charedi community has created an enormous amount of resentment towards it - and it is largely justified. And outside of Israel, the behavior of charedi communities is likely to be generating considerable antisemitism. There's long been an antisemitic trope of Jews causing the plague, and charedim are providing fuel for this.

Meanwhile, if you live in Israel and haven't yet been vaccinated, then for God's sake go out and get it! Right now, the supply exceeds the demand, which is a disgrace. The only hope for life to go back to normal is for as many people as possible to be vaccinated.


51 comments:

  1. "This in turn is because despite the fact that over three million people have been vaccinated,"

    This is true. However immunity only occurs about a week after the second dose. What that means is that the amount of people who have reached their "full" immunity from the vaccines is about 1.25 million. It's important to interpret the data correctly before prematurely dispensing with precautions, or raising expectations.

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    1. Partial immunity is achieved after the first dose, beginning at about day 12 and eventually rising to an efficacy of about 52%.

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    2. Thanks. I should have been more clear. My point was that we shouldn't expect substantial infection drops immediately even though about 60% of Israelis have had at least one dose.

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    3. It's worth noting that the immunity is actually achieved a lot earlier; it's only *visible* at around day 12.

      What do I mean?

      Up until day 12, the appearance of symptoms in the placebo and treatment groups is identical. Its only at day 12 that they begin to separate. But if you got *symptoms* on day 12, that means you got *infected* on around day 5 - maybe even earlier, depending. So it's really around day 5 that the person who was vaccinated starts becoming immune to being infected.

      However, this does not mean that the person should behave irresponsibly beginning on Day 5. Day 5 is early enough that they might still be spreading the virus to others, if they caught it before they received the vaccination (e.g., from other people waiting on line with them to receive it).

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  2. This is also a massive global Chilul HaShem.
    My Parents said that the funeral in Jerusalem made the TV News in New Zealand. This is almost a textbook example of Chilul HaShem, when people literally on the other side of the world look at footage of people dressed as G-d fearing Jews as an example of how NOT to behave.

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    1. sadly one mans chillul hashem is another mans kiddush hashem.

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  3. Most people have both sons and daughters - the vast majority of girls' schools are closed. And many of the boy's schools are closed as well. Your criticism has its place, but please don't exaggerate.

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  4. Throw in the fact that Chareidim do proportionally very little to pay for the medical services they get from the country and that almost no doctors or nurses are Chareidim.

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    1. But they have volunteer Bikur Cholim! We're always told that more than makes up for the whole medical infrastructure the Zionist Entity has created!

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  5. Some good might come out of it; it may cause the chareid parties to lose political power.

    Surely this would only happen if large numbers of non-Charedim voted for Charedi parties in the past and decide to cast their vote elsewhere in the future. Are there really so many non-Charedim voting for Charedi parties? (Genuine question.)

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    1. Many charedim do not vote for charedi parties and the number of such people may now increase. I know of at least one charedi who used to vote charedi and will not do so in March.

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    2. Some sephardim vote for Shas.
      And obviously many for for Likud which relies on the Charedi parties for power.

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    3. It would only happen if those parties who would ostensibly partner with these anti-zionist Jews in a coalition believe that such a partnership would be too politically toxic. Bibi would undoubtedly continue building coalitions around these anti-zionist Jewish parties as he has almost zero moral compass other than naked power (likely why he is now approaching Kahanist entities) and likely others would have almost no choice given the fractured nature of the political landscape and the decimation of the 'Left' in IL.

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    4. Bibi's expected coalition poll numbers are in his favor but are fragile. If he can dispose with the Charedim and take a centrist party, he may do it. It's not like the Charedi parties, who are not reliable rightists, are his natural partners. Deri is an admitted leftist & UTJ is out to achieve their constituent's profane needs rather then to promote any coherent ideology.

      Avraham has already speculated about some Charedim who may bolt the party and vote for someone else. But others may cease voting altogether. UTJ has not vaccinated the Charedim from fines or enforcement. Some ideologically pure fanatics may see whatever covid-19 compliance that UTJ has promoted as capitulation. They may come to agree with the עדה החרדית that nothing (but compromise) can be gained by joining the Zionist regime.

      Finally those on the center-right may hold their nose and vote center-left rather than risk a Bibi lead coalition with Charedim.
      All this is speculation. The question is whether there will be enough defections to make a change.

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    5. The charedi parties are not reliable rightists. They can be easily bought off, though, which is all Bibi wants.

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  6. The New York Times now has an article out about R. Chaim Kanievsky. They try to be balanced . . .

    https://www.nytimes.com/2021/01/29/world/israel-virus-rabbi-orthodox.html

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  7. The statistics are remarkable. Compare the percentage of the population who have received their first vaccination. In non-haredi/mixed cities: Herzliya (49.56%), Rishon Lezion (43.33%), Ariel (42.2%). In haredi cities: Bnei Brak (14.69%), Modiin Illit (11.19%), Beitar Illit (9.2%). Yes, I realise that haredi cities have a younger population and a higher number of people who have already had COVID, so they can't be vaccinated. But still, does that explain the disparity in vaccination rates? And of course, the disparity in infection rates is equally remarkable. Statistics from https://datadashboard.health.gov.il/COVID-19/general.

    Unfortunately, the anti-haredi backlash makes the haredi population feel even more defensive, pushing them further into the hands of haredi political parties and upping their opposition to any change in the status quo. The change has to come from within, but I can't see it happening. Very sad.

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    1. "But still, does that explain the disparity in vaccination rates?"
      Why not?

      Moshe from BP

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    2. The vaccination rates for most Charedi areas are decent but nothing to sing about. Certainly when compared to compliance with health guidelines, the vax rates are not bad at all.

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    3. Current first dose vax rates-
      Bnei Brak: 15%
      Bet Shemesh: 17%
      Bet Shemesh is far less Charedi than Bnei Brak, so the similar vax rates indicate that the Charedim are more or less getting vaccinated.

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  8. Yes, get vaccinated. For your own sake and because of the notion that Jews cause plagues which leads to antisemitism, when in fact, China caused the plague. There's a lot of evidence now that the Spanish flu derived from China. As for the charedi community, we can't stay in lockdown forever. Kids need to go back to school. Business needs to reopen. Our economy needs to reopen. If your able, if you're not at risk or the elderly, you need to go back to work. We can't have the economy implode. We can't survive COVID for three years but be out of bread. And charedim need to do their part in the IDF. They benefit from living in Israel, they need to defend it. Nobody came to protect us when the Arabs invaded in 73. You need to serve like everybody else.

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    1. Whoa, whoa: It's now *law* in the US that you can't mention China. You can mention the "UK mutation" and even the "South African mutation," but God forbid you should mention China. Telling that.

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  9. @RNS

    Your headline reads “How to make society hate you”, then you write “There's long been an antisemitic trope of Jews causing the plague, and charedim are providing fuel for this.”.

    Actually, the charedim view this as a justification for doing what they want since they will be hated regardless of what they do. Just like historically the Jews were blamed for no reason, they believe that even if they do everything right they will still be hated. Similar to the Israeli government fighting terrorist and wars knowing that the world will hate them for it, since they know the world hates them anyway, no matter what they do.

    Moshe from BP

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    1. Same thing with complaining about schools. Nothing would give the anti-charedim more pleasure than seeing charedi Talmudei Torah shut down forever, pandemic or not. And they made that very clear with their vocal hatred, well before the pandemic. So they have no credibility complaining about it now. (Also, it's possible to safely open schools for in-person learning, as is the case in some communities).

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  10. Are all countries that are still in lockdown after a year of lockdowns, the fault of Charedim? Or is it just in Israel where they're an easy target?

    Lockdowns are solely the fault of those who promote lockdowns.

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    1. The countries that applied complete lockdown, like New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, and Taiwan, are no longer in lockdown as they eliminated the virus - down to zero cases.

      Countries that only implemented a partial lockdown, like Israel, are seeing thousands of deaths and repeat lockdowns.

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    2. Just a few days ago, Australia shut down its 4th largest city of 2 million people for at least a week, because one man had coronavirus.

      By all means, if you believe Israel needs to be even more tyrannical in its response to prevent people from contracting a communicable disease, and destroy livelihoods and lives even more, close its border indefinitely, etc., say so. But don't blame Charedim for experimental policies that have been mandated in dozens of countries for the better part of a year, and have shown themselves to be utter disasters.

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    3. Lockdowns don't work when the populace doesn't obey. When Charedim form a large bloc of people who refuse to obey, it definitely makes sense to blame them both for poor results from the lockdowns and for continuous lockdowns.

      Yes, they are not the only (large) group that has shown disdain for their health and the health of others. But they are prominent and persistent in their flaunting of the rules. Other groups have been censured as well, but there are none so cohesive as Charedim.

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    4. After a year of lockdowns, social distancing, and mask mandates, Quebec has instituted a mandatory 8pm curfew for the past month, and allows essential stores to be open, but prohibits the purchase of nonessential items in those stores by blocking them off with caution tape.

      After a year of curfews, school closures, social distancing, etc., Germany imposed another set of harsh lockdowns for a month starting mid-December, which saw a rise in deaths, and no downturn in infection rates.

      Even in countries where they managed to reduce cases, the lockdowns aren't over. Australia just locked down its city of 2 million inhabitants because one man had coronavirus. Their borders are indefinitely closed, and a dangerous precedent has been set.

      But the Charedim.

      If large swaths of people can't follow your policies in dozens of countries, then consider the possibility that it's your policy that's the problem, not the people.

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  11. I enjoy this blog very much and I appreciate that you take out the time to post. I do believe that upon looking a little closer at today's post we can find a pattern.
    "the charedi policy of not sharing the national responsibility of serving in the IDF" Why is there a mandatory service rather than a professional service? Who created an exemption for the Haredi Sector?
    "Then there's the economic aspect of their being a drain on society" Who created a welfare state that makes it legal to steal money from one citizen's pocket in order to put in another's? Are people on welfare any different than the myriads of unnecessary bureaucrats who live off the tax dollar? Welfare benefits create incentives not to work and do useless government "jobs".
    "Everyone is suffering from the lockdown" Why are most businesses in the country closed down (some to never be re-opened)? Because Haredim?
    We live in a top-down government system. A democracy (mobocracy) where 51% of voters can force the other 49% to comply with their wishes until the next elections. There are no God given rights, only government given rights. In a socialist atmosphere there are no individuals, each person must be bound to one of the many groups fighting over the platter of government handouts and privileges.
    How about limiting government. Or even better why not create a republican state of Israel. A free-market capitalist country of individuals with God given rights. Where government stealing, whether it is forceful army service, social benefit programs or forceful shutdowns will not be possible.
    You may say "the shutdown is a matter of life and death!"
    Are people's livelihood not a matter of life and death? On top of that, does the shutdown even work? Compare the States in the USA that shutdown (ex:NY,CA,NJ) with the ones that stayed open (ex:FL,AZ,TX) you may be surprised to see the results.

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    1. You can't come to a conclusion based on a single data point. If the shutdowns are reactive to high infection rates, then you'd expect a positive correlation between shutdowns are infection rates.
      A better metric would be compare changes in the infection rate over time. That is you should be comparing the CHANGE in infection rate, rather than the TOTAL amount of infections. (After that you can further analyze whether the benefits of the shutdown were sufficient to justify it.)
      Also it could be that voluntary compliance for health guidelines are higher in those States that didn't resort to a shutdown. If that's the case, in places where the citizens are responsible at self-governing, the gov't can intervene less.

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    2. Thank You Ephraim, I appreciate you taking interest in my comment, and for taking the time to write a reply. To be clear I am not coming to conclusions, on the contrary. I brought merely an example to show that the evidence is not empirical. I am bothered that government, with no sufficient data, has the ability to arbitrarily shutdown the livelihoods of it's citizens at whim. The onus of proof is on the government creating the lockdown, not the governed.

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    3. As a confirmed libertarian myself, I always have to chuckle when someone makes a small-government argument to defend charedim.

      First, to get this point out of the way, whether conscription or volunteer is better is irrelevant (and not to be decided by people here). Conscription is the law. You don't like it, change the law, but don't pretend you're being virtuous by avoiding it.

      More significantly, the reason I find these arguments funny is because charedim themselves *never make them.* And for good reason, too: Their whole existence is heavily predicated on government largesse (and, by the way, multiculturalism, another leftist shibboleth). But more than that, they don't make the argument because it never comes up on their radar. They *have* no political philosophy apart from Middat Sodom. They don't care if there's conscription, so long as they don't have to go. So it might make right-leaning charedi apologists happy to justify charedi behavior using libertarian arguments, but rest assured charedim never do, and never bother.

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    4. Thank you Nachum for taking the time to reply to my post. I noticed that you are a libertarian based on some of your earlier posts, which very often interest me. You point out that "conscription is the law" by the same token I will say that yeshiva students (which all Haredim of army age officially are) are exempt by law from conscription. Who then is the culprit? We all want what is best for us, Haredim included. The question is whether the gun of government should be available to enforce our desires onto others. Whether Haredim make this argument or not is irrelevant. To me it is important that citizens of Israel begin to see the broader issue at hand.

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    5. Daniel all you yammer on about are rights... you don't seem to care much about peoples' responsibilities to one another. Kol Yisrael Areivim Zeh LaZeh..doesn't man much to you, does it...?

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  12. The Charedim are a large percentage of the country, yet 3% of the corona advertising budget was geared to them.
    So a whole society heard about this virus from the mikva and Kollel coffee rooms. Why shouldn't they be open to conspiracy theories and ridiculous nonsense. The government could have dealt differently with them, but the mindset in Israel has the Charedim as the 'African-Americans' of society. They are looked down on, institutionally, and nobody really cares about them. So they muscle their way into wherever they can, because without that they would look like the Arabs, and this is the result.

    It is true that the Charedim should be mature enough to set up their own system, with their leaders consulting doctors etc, but that is not their way, we do not have the knowledge or understanding for it. If Bibi would have made one call a year ago to the right person, the situation would be completely different.

    Btw, I spoke to Israeli Charedim who told me that this time the lockdown is so counter-intuitive that they cannot accept it. All research says that schools are not dangerous, yet they are chasing them down to shut them. Yet Kollelim, wedddings, Tishen and whatnot are being ignored. So people believe that the government has no idea what it is doing, and that is why they ignore them. Perhaps using some of that budget on its own citizenry would be useful.

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    1. This is 90% nonsense, except for "It is true that the Charedim should be mature enough to set up their own system" And yet...

      "So people believe that the government has no idea what it is doing, and that is why they ignore them. "
      So ignore the government. By why ignore health professionals and scientists? Why is anarchy preferred of self-governance? The Charedim don't like gov't schools so they set up their own schools. Welfare services are inadequate so they set up Kupat Ha'ir etc. Gov't services are lacking elsewhere so they set up Hatzola, Yad Sarah & Zaka.
      The fact is that the crisis has shown the Charedim to be without leadership, whether that leadership is gov't or gedolim. HaGaon RCK has not been a leader- he's only insisted that people follow doctors' advice & (most of the time) keep institutions open. No details how to manage the crisis. RGE has been rather reticent and not very active. And there's no central figure in the non-litvish charedi world. So who actually is calling the shots?

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    2. Nobody heard about corona through government advertising. Israel isn't north korea. What a ridiculous way to blame someone else for your own problems and ignorance.
      And your whole comment is pathetic. What kind of society is so childish that they depend on others to hold their hands through every little challenge in life.

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    3. "All research says that schools are not dangerous"

      The research is mixed. And there are additional variables such as the rates of infection in the community outside the classroom, as well as precautions in the classroom itself. So you can't compare a large classroom with enough space between students, and a cramped classroom where kids are right next to each other.

      " who told me that this time the lockdown is so counter-intuitive that they cannot accept it"
      Chalk it up to faulty intuition. The situation is too complex for intuition.

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    4. Charedim are only about 7% of the Israeli population, so 3% of spending (especially if it's for ads in charedi newspapers or on billboards, which are cheaper than internet or TV ads) isn't that bad.

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    5. A simple Google Search will show you that Charedim are 12.6% of the Israeli population. 3% of the budget is a disgrace.

      The answers to my points miss the essential point. If the Israeli government actually wanted results, instead of someone else to blame, they know how to reach the Charedi community. But they didn't care at all, they look at them as the N****s of society.

      I do not think the Charedim were right in this pandemic, although I don't really believe the media reports about their behavior, but it seems there were at least some pockets of severe resistance.

      And I have not found a single study that blames schools for any spread. It is study vs conjecture. They thought it would be a problem, and they are not following the science by continuing the old method of school closures.

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  13. My fellow Jews hate each other throughout our history. If it is not Corona, it would be something else. For many years, we had a reprieve...the Arabs. They kept us from hating, etc each other. Now with many countries making peace with us, we have to turn on each other. I used to believe in achdut and all that, but coming to Israel changed that. Achdut is a nice fantasy, just like the Messiah

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  14. Just a little typo: "it may cause the chareid parties"

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  15. "for precautions in every sector of society, but much more so (and more visibly so) in the charedi sector."

    But apart from the anti-Bibi protesters (who I really hold no brief for), there's no official approval or waffling about violating the rules as there is in the charedi world. There's no "let people hang put on the beach" lobby, for example.

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  16. RNS
    The IHRA Working Definition of Antisemitism has been adopted by the EU and now by the US as well.One of the definitions are: Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group"
    I B'H live in England where ppl. are judged by their own merit rather than being stigmatized by stereotypical belief. If a crime is done by a person of colour or a jew they will not mention his background as this would stigmatize his entire community and is not generally relevant to the crime itself. If one would change the IHRA definition of antisemitism and insert charedi instead of Jew you may be classed as a anti-semite. There are plenty of Charedim who do not make large weddings or other illegal activities. To stigmatize a community is not a way forward and is certainly not helpful to anyone. I think the society in Israel has a real problem when it comes to racism and I felt it when I was living there. I am surprised by you as you were brought up in the UK but you have unfortunately adapted to this mentality.

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    1. And that's exactly why such rules, definitions, and laws should not exist.

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    2. I think Talmid's comment is quite strong. Especially when you consider the incredibly broad range of who is considered chareidi. I'd be interested in hearing if there is an intelligent response to this comment as to why one may disagree

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    3. @Raymond
      The answer is very simple and I will give a example from the UK. Jeremy Corbyn has fought his entire life against racism but when it comes to Jews and Israel he is a anti-semite and racism doesn't appear to bother him at all. This is due to his bias of being pro-palestinian. the same can be said about the democrats and Biden in the US where they will stigmatise all republicans etc. RNS is clearly biased against Charedim and therefore has no problem attacking Haredim. A simple test for bias can be obtained by checking whether RNS almost always criticises Charedim and almost never criticises MO even when it comes to their terrible dropout levels etc.

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  17. "Will lead to economic destruction of israel" One good invention by a haredi or anyone for that matter can bring billions to economy so how can you know the future? Take a breather, btw if you lived in America and crunched some numbers you would be able to make your doom speech about certain minorities, then you would be deemed a racist which you would be. The world doesn't run by ppl getting obsessed by others faults

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    1. People don't make inventions out of nothing. They usually need a bit of education. (Or at least know how to spell "people.")

      And what's wrong with doom speeches about other minorities as well? Should all problems be swept under the rug just because you roll out the R word?

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