December 28, 2011

WALKING 300 YARDS IN PALESTINIAN SHOES:

Haredi violence in Beit Shemesh catches Israel's attention (Marcy Oster ยท December 27, 2011, JTA) 

For several years now, the Jerusalem suburb of Beit Shemesh has been the site of on-again, off-again religious violence.

But it wasn't until the plight of a fearful 8-year-old girl from a Modern Orthodox immigrant family from America was broadcast on Israel's Channel 2 over the weekend that the religious tensions in Beit Shemesh captured the nation's attention, including that of Israel's prime minister and its president.

In the broadcast, the girl, Na'ama Margolis, told a reporter that she is afraid to walk the 300 yards from her home to her Modern Orthodox girls' school for fear that the haredi Orthodox men who protest outside of the school will hurt her. Video showed Na'ama's mother encouraging her to walk the short way to school punctuated by the girl's whimpers and cries of "No, No."

Some haredi residents of Beit Shemesh, a suburb of some 80,000 people, are upset about the opening in September of a new Modern Orthodox girls' school, Orot, across the street from their neighborhood. Confrontations between haredi Orthodox activists and Modern Orthodox opposite the school have waxed and waned since the beginning of the school year, and often resulted in violence. 

Haredi protesters have thrown eggs and bags of excrement at the young girls and called them "sluts" and "shiksas." Haredi opponents of the school say the girls and their mothers dress immodestly, with sleeves and skirts that are not sufficiently long.



Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at December 28, 2011 6:42 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« THERE HAVE BEEN FEW BETTER MOMENTS IN TV...: | Main | IT'S A REPUBLICAN SEAT: »