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|Regions with significant populations|
Fakolan Jews, also referred to as Jewish Fakolanans, are Fakolan citizens or their foreign descendants who are Jews, either by religion, ancestry, or both. Fakolan Jews, by their namesake, are Jews who live in, or are descendant from persons who did live in, Fakolana.
Jewish settlement in modern-day Fakolana dates to the High Middle Ages during the Greater Yisraeli Governorate, a proto-Yisraeli state allied to the Tarsan Empire. During the Sydalene Crusades of the 1230s, the Jews in now-Fakolana were expelled by local authorities in the Decree of 1237. After Fakolana's independence from the Latin Empire in 1786, Yisrael and Fakolana established formal ties immediately (with Yisrael having supported Fakolan independence), permitting Jews to legally re-enter the country for the first time in over five-hundred and fifty years. Because of constant border disputes in the mid-to-late 1800s, Jews in Yisrael and in Fakolana had little contact despite relative geographic nearness, resulting in the evolution of a localized Jewish culture and set of religious rites and customs that was overly insular due to accusations in gentile Fakolan society of "dual loyalty" to Yisrael.
The only significant expatriate Fakolan Jewish population exists in Yisrael, where it is composed of several small communities numbering approximately 9,000 individuals.
- 1 History
- 2 Demographics
- 3 Religion
- 4 Contemporary politics
- 5 Contemporary culture
- 6 Notable Fakolan Jews
- 7 See also
Decree of 1237
Insularity and religious isolation
Significant population centers
Due to historical settlement and opportunities, nearly all of the population lies in the western regions of the country, comprising 97% of the Zivan Strip on the Yisrael border, comprising a notable community in Fakolanum, and a handful of smaller communities in a couple mid-sized western cities. Outside of the Zivan Strip, almost all of the residential settlement is urban.
Before the 1954 Astrapolis Treaty, there were approximately 27,000 Fakolan Jews at the 1950 census. When the treaty was signed and the Strip was recognized as part of Fakolan sovereignty, about 6,000 Zivan Jews fled across the border into Yisrael. The Jewish population grew from about 22,000 in 1960 to about 34,000 in 2018, an over 50% increase in two generations.
Observances and engagement
Fakolan Jews, owing to their small size, insularity, and historical circumstances, are a highly religious and observant Jewish community. Nearly all identify with traditional Judaism, according to a 2014 Fakolan University Center for Judaic Studies survey.
According to this study, about 57% describe themselves as "strict Sabbath observers", while 35% said they were "largely or lax Sabbath observers", compared to 8% who said they "rarely or never observe the Sabbath." Similarly, about 64.5% said they "kept strictly kosher," 18% said they "kept largely or mostly kosher," while 17.5% said they "kept little to no kosher" in their diet. Intermarriage for Fakolan Jews is negligible, with a near-absolute 98% saying in the study they would only marry other Jews.
Fakolan Jews have the most notable impact on Fakolan politics in the Zivan Strip, where they form nearly all of the entire population. It is the base of the Yisraeli Rights Society, who usually wins the Strip's single-member delegate to the National Assembly of Fakolana as well as the elected special advisor to the Grand Duke.
The tiny Fakolan Jewish community in Yisrael is too small to reliably poll, so its political prefences are not well-documented. However, given the right-wing inclinations of their home-country brethren, many political commentators believe that most Fakolan Jews support Yisraeli parties such as the Royalist Conservatives.
Notable Fakolan Jews
- Ezekiel Harazi (1959 - present): The current leader of the Yisraeli Rights Society and a contemporary leader in Fakolan Jewish society, Harazi grew up in Fakolanum and came to Yisrael to study at yeshiva in Yerushalayim. He returned to Fakolana in the 1980s and became involved in politics, building the minor sectarian YRS into a potent political force by using Fakolan Jews as a voting bloc in the National Assembly among the larger, major parties, such as the Union of the People. He is a well-known figure in general Fakolan culture, and popular in political circles for his astute political instincts.
- Zvika Tuvel (1983 - present): A banker in the Fakolan banking firm UCP, Tuvel is a rising star in financial circles for his advocacy of fiscal contraction-as-growth in political economy, derided by traditional economists but heralded by a newer set of neoliberal economists in Fakolanum.
- Yidhar ben Nell (1897 - 1962): A historical mayor of Ein Zivan in the Zivan Strip, Nell was instrumental in alleviating fear and anger in the wake of the Astrapolis Treaty among Zivan Strip Jews about lingering feelings of being "left behind" by Yisrael and of skepticism towards Fakolan governing dating back to the Zivan Occupation. In the "Compromise of 1956," Nell and Tribune Darius Tiranius struck a bargain about the creation of the Zivan Special District, a unique political subdivision inside Fakolana's otherwise unitary state model that permitted its overwhelmingly-Jewish population some form of autonomy. Earlier, he had been known as a peacemaker during the Occupation.