The editors of an ultra-Orthodox daily newspaper on Thursday accused the State of Israel of encouraging anti-Semitism throughout the world, claiming that lax religious adherence in the nation and “harassment” of the Haredi community were to blame.
The editorial in Yated Ne’eman, the most widely read daily paper among Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, stated that a wave of anti-Semitism was washing over the world and pegged the blame on the founders of the state, who “hoped that the established state would solve the problem of anti-Semitism. They sought to save the bodies at the cost of forsaking the souls.”
The piece went on to proclaim that Israel had become the problem, causing Jewish suffering throughout the world. It then cited a lack of religious devotion among Israelis, rising assimilation and ill treatment of Torah scholars as reasons for an increase in anti-Semitic incidents.
“Salvation is dependent on one condition – that the will of God be done,” the paper stated, concluding: “The more Haredim and Torah scholars are harassed, the more Jews will be harassed around the globe.”
The editorial comes amid an ongoing, vociferous protest among the ultra-Orthodox community against a government initiative to raise the number of Haredim in the IDF, effectively doing away with a decades-long blanket exemption from service.
Earlier this week, the government released its annual report on anti-Semitism, which pointed to a deterioration in the security situation of Jews around the world, amid widening concerns about anti-Semitism. Despite the fact that the number of anti-Semitic incidents in Europe did not rise in 2013, the Jewish communities there felt more intimidated than ever, with two-thirds saying they saw anti-Semitism as a problem that significantly and continuously impacted their lives.