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Haredi Anti-Zionist Ideology as the Driving Force Behind the Ultraorthodox Protests in Israel

Gadi Hitman


Since its establishment as an independent state, Israel has witnessed waves of protests, sometimes violence, from the Haredi (ultraorthodox) community. Focusing on clashes between Haredi protesters and the police from 2000 onward, this study suggests a new theoretical explanation for Haredi protests and violent activities. By using a mixture of the following three major theories—primordial, constructivism, and contingency—the article provides a new model for analyzing Haredi patterns of confrontation with the Israeli authorities. It concludes, inter alia, that the Haredi community is a permanent passive protest movement that responds, usually immediately, to official initiatives to change the status quo involving the state, politics, society, and religion in Israel.

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pp. 426–443