I have often been asked how the State of Israel will look when its Haredi (ultra Orthodox) people are the majority of Jewish people. I admit this is a bit like asking for a prophecy, but in practice I can identify two conflicting trends.
One trend is in favor of an increasing Haredi population and “Haredism” (ultra Orthodoxy) in general. This trend is fed by the political situation, by the birth rate and natural increase of the Haredi sector, and by massive religious processes based on education, promoted by the establishment, and even related to the human mind’s way of work.
The opposite trend contributes to decreasing in “Haredism”. It is fed by the need for economic resources, by the State of Israel’s defense risks, and by the progress of science, technology and communication, which make it ever more difficult to isolate oneself in a ghetto.
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I can think of several different scenarios to come. Which one will really happen? Time will tell.
The ‘Stable’ scenario: The conflicting trends will eventually result in a sort of equilibrium, in which there will remain a large but fixed percentage of Haredi people, and the state will not look significantly different than nowadays.
The ‘Iranian’ scenario: The Haredi increase of two more decades will results in Haredi majority within the establishment, followed quickly by a theocratic Orthodox Jewish state. Many of the secular people will escape while they still can. Will there eventually remain a small allowed secular community? The Haredi god only knows.
The ‘Tel Aviv State’ scenario: The Haredi increase of two decades will result in such theocracy, but also in a spinoff of ‘Tel Aviv State’, which will constitute a questionably-independent secular entity.
The ‘Ottoman’ scenario: The Haredi increase and the secular escape will weaken the State of Israel to such extent that will make it easy for neighboring radical Islamic forces to take over. Israel will turn into an Islamic Palestine, under which the Jewish Haredi sector will live in peace.
The ‘Utopian’ scenario: The increase in Haredi pressure will cause many to come to their senses in time. Forcing appropriate laws of core education and equal rights and duties will start to turn things over. Haredi birth rate will reduce, education will increase, and Israel will eventually become a better place.
The ‘Apocalyptic’ scenario: The Haredi issue will not make it in time, since other more global events will take place and require treatment (extreme global warming, the Yellowstone volcano eruption, a worldwide epidemic, …)
Choose you favorite scenario. In the meantime, and against ny will, I put my money on the Ottoman.