YNet: Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg Fears the Tribal Orthodox Threat to Viability of the State of Israel

We fear Burg is at the vanguard, and that he may be right.
Burg: Haredim not part of State of Israel

Former Knesset speaker worries rift with haredim too deep to bridge; says 'we are witnessing ongoing disintegration of Israeli society into 'tribes'
Ronen Medzini

Former Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg said mass protests in the haredi sector following the Emmanuel affair, in which parents refused to send their daughters to an ethnically mixed school despite a High Court ruling on the matter, served as the final deed of divorce between the haredim and the rest of Israeli society.

In an interview with Ynet, Burg warned that the widely covered attack of haredi sector representatives on the Supreme Court and its judges is eroding Israel's rule of law.

"The haredim are not part of the State of Israel," said Burg. "The day before yesterday, haredim declared their autonomy within the State. They may be part of other countries, but I think we are witnessing the ongoing disintegration of Israeli society into 'tribes'."

The former Knesset speaker said the passing week has served as a turning point in the State's ability to govern the haredim.

"The Supreme Court has become a weak body under attack and no one is defending it. Their power trip, along with mistakes made by the political establishment, which has simply ceased to function in the past few weeks, are issues that could have been solved quickly.

"However," Burg added, "The situation has reached a boiling point, and the demon cannot be put back into the bottle."

Burg spoke during a weekly leftist protest at the east Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah against Jewish presence there. According to Burg, there is a connection between the haredi conduct and the political situation.

"They will simply establish their own communal autonomy. The last ones to get this status will be the occupied population of the State of Israel in the West Bank and Jerusalem.

"When people say 'there is no holiness in an occupied city,' it means that there is a need to do a just act instead of a wrong one. This is exactly what all these people are doing here – this is the real Jerusalem," he said.

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