Making Sense of Risky Haredi Behaviors in Israel During the Covid-19 Pandemic - Ferit BELDER

10/03/2022
ULUSLARARASI ILISKILER, VOLUME 19, NUMBER 73, 2022
 
Ferit BELDER*


ABSTRACT

Covid-19 not only posed a threat to the bodies of individuals or their mental health but also disrupted routines that are re-producing certain communities every day. This is particularly the case for communities with already securitized identities such as the ultra-Orthodox (Haredi) society in Israel. Its authentic narrative, routines and practices that had been sustained thanks to their decades-long autonomy within the state, faced a substantial challenge when the state-led pandemic measures arrived in Haredi towns. This article seeks to explain the Haredi non-compliance with certain pandemic instructions like closing religious and educational centers, through the conceptual lens of an ontological security approach. It argues that the ontological security concerns of the Haredi leadership hampered them from fully complying with the state-led pandemic measures, even at the expense of risking the lives of individual Haredim.

Keywords:  Haredim, Ontological Security, Anxiety, Fear, Autonomy

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*    Assist. Prof. Dr., Marmara University, Department of International Relations, Istanbul.