A group of 15 haredi extremists, most likely linked to the Mea Shearim-based Sicarii gang, massed outside a Modern Orthodox girls school in Beit Shemesh and chanted slogans against the girls. A Modern Orthodox resident took pictures of the haredim but was attacked by two of them who allegedly threw him to the ground when they saw his camera.
Sicarii members being shoved away from a Modern Orthodox girls school in Beit Shemesh earlier this year after the haredim attacked students' parents
Haredim Resume Protests At Modern Orthodox School, Allegedly Attack Local Activist
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
A group of 15 haredi extremists, most likely linked to the Mea Shearim-based Sicarii gang, massed outside a Modern Orthodox girls school in Beit Shemesh today and chanted slogans against the girls and their parents, including “Zionists are defiling our neighborhood,” “get out of our neighborhood,” and “woe to immorality,” the Jerusalem Post reported.
A Modern Orthodox activist took pictures of the haredim but was attacked by two of them who allegedly threw him to the ground when they saw his camera. A third haredi man jumped in and stopped the first two from doing further harm, and then the three haredim fled to the haredi neighborhood that abuts the school.
Police arrived seconds after the haredim fled, but no arrests have yet been made.
The haredim have been trying for months to force the Modern Orthodox girls grammar school to vacate the school building, which abuts a haredi neighborhood.
Even though the girls dress modestly, they do not dress in the extreme haredi fashion. Haredim claim the girls are therefore immodestly dressed, and demand that the students vacate the school building and move away from where haredim can see them.
These haredi extremists have previously assaulted students, hurled rocks at the building and at Modern Orthodox children, and called the girls whores. They also stormed the school building, took over some of the classrooms, and tried to vandalize them, but Modern Orthodox parents fought back and drove the haredim out of the building.
For a time, police were stationed at the school to safely escort students out of the building and through the screaming mob of haredi men who called the girls whores. Before police were stationed at the school, the haredim chased as they fled, screaming and cursing as the girls cried and shrieked in fright.
The 15 haredim at today's protest did not appear to be the same haredim who had previously attacked the school and its students, which may mean that more haredi extremists have been brought in from Mea Shearim.
Rabbi Dov Lippman, a leader of the Anglo Modern Orthodox community in Beit Shemesh who has been active in fighting the haredi attacks on the school, said that Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbul’s continued appeasement of the extremists was not working:
“His ‘darkei shalom’ [ways of peace] have merely brought more violence. There is one clear conclusion here: If the mayor will continue to bring more and more extremist haredim to the town, we will see more violence from these thugs and law breakers in the name of religion, and we will also see more religious coercion against the peaceable population – the moderate haredi, religious-Zionist and secular communities.”