No week passes in Israel without an article being published—usually
negative in tone—about the Haredi community. According to the Israel's
Central Bureau of Statistics, the Haredim, or ultra-Orthodox Jews,
constitute about 8 percent of Israel's population, or some 600,000 to
700,000 people. It is the fastest-growing segment in Israel.
worries many Israelis, religious as well as secular, about the growth
of the Haredim is that they reject political Zionism, the enterprise
that established the state of Israel in 1948. Their first loyalty is to
their spiritual leaders, not the state.