According to the Jerusalem Post, Beit Shemesh is a "ticking bomb" about to explode:
…"Callers have issued death threats and [Beit Shemesh police chief oz] Elyasi's nine-year-old daughter suffered from shock as a result of demonstrations outside the Elyasi home," she said.
The spokeswoman also denied claims by haredi residents that Elyasi personally beat demonstrators after they were detained. She rejected claims by haredim that Elyasi's style of policing, unlike that of his predecessors, has exacerbated the tense relationship between the municipality and the haredi community.
"There were always problems in Beit Shemesh," said the spokeswoman. "These incidents are nothing new." However, a shop owner in the Casbah who preferred to remain anonymous said that both Elyasi and the haredim were to blame.
"Retired police who worked with Elyasi told me that the guy lacks communication skills," said the store owner. "He resorts to force instead of negotiating a compromise.
"Meanwhile, the haredim throw rocks and they spill oil in the road to cause cars to slide out of control. I saw them throw tomatoes at a female soldier who walked through the neighborhood in slacks. On another occasion, an Egged bus driver who [had been] stoned got out of his bus, pulled out a pistol and fired warning shots into the air.
"To tell you the truth," he confided, "if I were that bus driver, I wouldn't shoot in the air. I would shoot one of them."
The Post notes that the haredim here do not take state aide for housing, but they do pay municipal taxes. Even so, these haredim are a tremendous drain on municipal resources, are a real and present danger to non-haredim, and do not do anything to help national security, either by serving in the IDF or by doing national service.
Worse yet, they believe they are above the law and any attempts by the state to get them to follow the law are viewed by the haredim as attacks on Judaism itself.
What the Post describes is what Muslim fundamentalism was like in its infancy.
How the Muslim fundamentalism was handled can be instructive. Countries that left their fundamentalists alone in the hopes that they would moderate with time ended up with weeks of riots, murders and violence (France, for example). Countries that banished or jailed their fundamentalists remained largely stable (Iran before the fall of the Shah; Egypt until today; Tunisia).
Israel is following the French model. It (largely) leaves haredim alone, allows them to cheat, steal, evade national service, wall themselves off from larger society and , most importantly, allows their criminals – child abusers, rapists, thieves, white collar crooks and blue collar thugs – to receive special, preferential treatment ranging from no jail time (or, even more often, no arrest), better jail conditions, and softer sentences.
When a local police chief decides to treat haredi crime like it treats all other crime, haredim riot. In Beit Shemesh, the police chief is apparently a man of few words and great wrath and his misbehaviors, if true, will only provoke more haredi violence.
If police enforcement is handled firmly but correctly, if the courts react with firmness, haredi violence will cease, because their street thugs and, eventually, their leaders will end up in jail.
Israeli police are too corrupt and too incompetent for that, and Israeli politicians lack the will to stand up to the thugs of Mea Shearim and Bnei Brak or to their leaders.
One day, perhaps very soon, Israel will wake up to riots on a scale larger than it has ever before seen. The streets of Jerusalem, Beit Shemesh, Tzfat, Bnei Brak and other cities will be in flames.
Israeli political leaders will cave in because, in Israel's fractured and tortuous political system, Kadima, Labor and Likud all need haredi votes to remain in power.
But the people of Israel will not stand for this. Eventually, they will chose to act, either through a new anti-haredi political party or through violence of their own.
If the latter option is taken, Israel will erupt into civil war. And where that will lead is anyone's guess and everyone's fear.