Gideon Aran: The Haredi Violence is Sometimes Inner-Oriented

The Haredi violence is sometimes inner-oriented. Not only as part of inter-group friction mentioned before, but also in a semi-institutional, partly controlled framework.

Written By Gideon Aran

It is a coercive intra-communal violence aimed at reinforcement of conformity and performed by the Modestly Squads (mishmarot tzni’ut). The latter’s activity can be defined as ‘moralistic vigilance’, which is not unknown in the history of other cultures. Some analogies can be found in Puritan authoritarian regimes, especially following revivalism or religious revolution as in Calvinist Geneva.

A contemporary example is the komitehsthat were active on the streets of Teheran after Khomeini’s rise to power. They and groups like them are active in the gray area of virtuous communities. Their aim is to find deviants from the strict standards, to discipline and punish and to discourage others from straying.

Taken from “Body, Violence and Fundamentalism: The Case of Jewish Ultra-Orthodoxy” By Prof. Gideon Aran.

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