Haredim this week forced YES cable to pull this brilliant ad promoting HDTV because, hareim whined, the ad is "bigoted" against haredim. The ad shows dancing haredim protesting HDTV and calling HDTV a "toeva," and abomination.
Of course, any reader of israel's newspapers have multiple examples of haredim protesting (usually violently) against any of a number of different "abominations."
The YES ad was not bigoted – it was spot on correct.
But what are haredim like in their own media and publications when they do not like something or someone?
Egged officials say the haredi community went too far with this caricature equating the bus company with a waiter serving pork to a haredi diner, who says, "excuse me! I ordered a kosher meal."
"If such a caricature were published in a Jewish community in the Diaspora, it would be denounced immediately as virulently anti-Semitic," said Aryeh Frankel, a haredi PR man from the Gal Advertising firm who represents Egged.
But a resident of Givat Shaul and one of the activists responsible for the publication of the pamphlet who preferred to remain anonymous defended the cartoon.
"For us, the situation in many parts of Jerusalem is as if Egged were forcing us to eat something un-kosher," said the man, who added that the caricature was approved by the rabbis.
The caricature appears on a pamphlet published recently by "The Council For Kosher Transportation - Har Nof, Givat Shaul" that blames Egged for being insensitive to haredi customers' religious strictures which require strict separation of men and women on buses.
Most of the pamphlet's eight pages are devoted to quotes from speeches given by prominent rabbis of Har Nof and Givat Shaul…
[Frankel noted] "Egged has 34 'designated' bus lines that segregate men and women in accordance with the religious sensitivities of the haredi populace. Just last week we launched a new line from Kiryat Sanz, Netanya to Jerusalem. But on inner-city lines that also serve the general [secular] public we cannot set up designated lines. Instead, we added a line - 15a - which services Har Nof and Givat Shaul in addition to the regular 11 and 15 buses."
Frankel added that by its very nature, mass transportation was crowded during rush hour and there was nothing that could be done to change that fact. "That's the way it is in the New York subway, in the Paris Metro and in the British Underground," he noted.
Haredim should be the last group to cry foul and haredim should be the people any of us cares about or supports.