The Haredim are Jewish people who are very religiously observant. The following report offers some positive portrayals of the Haredim community and also criticisms of the community. Because the Haredim make up 30% of the population of Jerusalem, they have a strong and well defined community there.
Here are some reasons why the Haredim may be portrayed negatively or disliked:
- It’s understandable that any strict religious group of any faith could be misunderstood by outsiders. We fear what we don’t understand.
- Negative and sensational news stories undoubtedly gain more media coverage than positive in-depth stories that promote understanding, respect, and appreciation.
- There may be less observant people of the same religion who feel strict religious groups are oppressive. They may feel judged as less religious by those who are more observant.
- There have always been people who are critical of all religions, and in this way the Haredim are seen as just another religious group to criticize.
- Because the Haredim in Israel are Israelis, they may be viewed negatively by those with pro-Palestinian sentiments.
- In addition to these universal phenomena, throughout history there seems to be a small but persistent smoldering anti-Jewish sentiment that specifically seeks out and amplifies any possible negative portrayals of any person or institution identified as Jewish.
So, all of the combined factors make the Haredim a people who are likely to be misunderstood, criticized, and disliked. As a general rule, the best way to get unbiased and factual information about any group is to meet, talk to, and get to know members of that group, and read their literature rather than studying exclusively reports from third parties.