A group of about 100 moderate haredim organized by a haredi college student leader are expected to join tonight's rally against haredi violence in Beit Shemesh. The rally, expected to draw thousands of Israelis from all over the country, is being held in response to haredi physical attacks on little Modern Orthodox girls they consider to be improperly dressed.
Haredim join protest against zealots
Some 100 moderate ultra-Orthodox men, women slated to take part in demonstration against Beit Shemesh violence. 'We would like to show that many haredim are against the extremists'
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet
Haredim protesting against extremists too: A group of moderate ultra-Orthodox men and women is expected to take part in Tuesday evening's demonstration against the violent acts directed at students of a religious school for girls in Beit Shemesh.
According to the group's organizer, the protestors aim to make it clear that the majority of the haredi public does not support the zealots who are verbally and physically harassing the students.
The initiator, Asher Gold, chairman of the ultra-Orthodox student union at the Lander Institute in Jerusalem, told Ynet that he was shocked to hear about the spitting and curses directed at the young girls and realized that the moderate haredi public could no longer sit idly by.
On Monday morning, Gold published an ad on haredi websites calling on members of the ultra-Orthodox community to take part in Tuesday's demonstration as a noticeable group. Dozens of haredim from different factions have already asked to join the initiative, he says.
Some 30 haredi women from Beit Shemesh are also expected to attend the rally. According to Gold's estimates, the group of haredim will include at least 100 people, even though the information on the initiative was only published on social networks and received by word of mouth.
The protest's initiator says he realizes that many view the entire haredi public as responsible for what is happening in Beit Shemesh. He explains that the plan to stand side by side at the rally is aimed at emphasizing the haredi presence, while making a clear statement that many oppose the radical way.
Gold clarifies, however, that the participation in the demonstration will not be in protest of the "exclusion of women" phenomenon, and has nothing to do with participants' opinion on the wider matter.