Israeli TV Crew Attacked In Ultra-Orthodox City
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli police say a TV crew has been attacked by a group of ultra-Orthodox Jewish men in a city that has become a symbol of violent religious extremism.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld says ultra-Orthodox men surrounded a Channel 2 news truck and hurled stones at it, lightly wounding one member of the TV crew.
He says the rioters also stole TV equipment. The attack took place in Beit Shemesh, a city of 85,000 just outside Jerusalem.
On Friday, Channel 2 aired a story about tensions in the city between modern Orthodox residents and the extremist ultra-Orthodox Haredi sect.
The story featured an 8-year-old American girl who says she is afraid to walk to school in the morning because the town’s Haredim have spat on her and cursed her.
The Jerusalem Post reports:
Haredim attack Channel 2 crew in Beit Shemesh
Camera crew in town to film street signs discriminating against women; crowd of residents beat them, throw stones.
A crowd of haredim [ultra-Orthodox] attacked a Channel 2 camera crew in Beit Shemesh on Sunday. The crew was in the city to film street signs discriminating against women, and were attacked by residents opposed to their presence.
"They called us 'Israel haters,' beat us with their hands and threw stones at us," a Channel 2 reporter said.
The crew alerted the police who arrived at the scene of the incident. "If the police hadn't intervened within 10 minutes, I don't know how it would have ended," the journalist said. The police escorted the team out of the city.
The reporter said that the assailants smashed the windows of the cars that the team had arrived in, and also broke some of the equipment they were carrying.
He explained that they had gone there following Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's statement earlier in the day, saying that discriminatory signs should be removed.
On Friday night, Channel 2 aired a report showing an eight-year old modern orthodox girl afraid to walk 300 meters to school because of harassment from some haredim because of her attire. The reporter also interviewed a haredi man saying it was permissible to spit at even a school age girl if she was not dressed "properly."
On Sunday, the reporter emphasized that no-one tried to stop the attack, and added: "I don't know if they recognized me from the report that we filmed in the city, but that's not important... All morning people were talking about an extreme group, but I saw dozens of people full of hate, and nothing else."