"The lawlessness prevailing among those distant from Torah exacted yet another bloody toll yesterday" HaPeles wrote, explaining that its choice not to report the mass shooting in its news section stemmed from its wish to "steer clear of the ugliness and everything like it."
Ynet reports that most of the Israeli haredi media chose not to cover the recent Beersheva bank shootings in which a Jewish man snapped (apparently due to extreme financial distress) and started shooting, killing four people, including himself.
But worse than the absolute silence of the majority of the haredi media was the report published in HaPeles, the publication controlled by 'mainstream' haredi Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach, who has moved steadily rightward politically and religiously after losing his bid for supreme leadership of non-hasidic haredim to Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman last year.
Auerbach's mouthpiece blamed the shootings on secularism:
…"The lawlessness prevailing among those distant from Torah exacted yet another bloody toll yesterday" the newspaper said, explaining the choice not to report the incident in their news section stemmed from their wish to "steer clear of the ugliness and everything like it."
The editorial said such events take place on a regular basis: so frequently that terror attack by the Palestinians no longer represent the main threat to Israel's security. "Homegrown brutes," which society's cruelty made even worse, carry out violent acts with such frequency, HaPeles claimed, that the rest of the population have grown used to them.
The editorial said the poisonous atmosphere that breeds such atrocities derives from the media which, in turn, copies the cultural trends and styles of the "inferior" Western civilization. Scenes of violence represented in theater, film and computer games are contributing factors to the dangerously wayward ways of today's youth, according to HaPeles.
"Secular education" too was on the receiving end of the outlet's attack, and the newspaper stated that "in view of the horrific sights of 'murderous fun and games,' considered part of normative education, no wonder those things trickle down to the lowest strata of the human soul, and finally find their release in bullying, where the imaginary stimuli become real acts of violence."
Finally, the editorial linked the Beersheba massacre to the ongoing efforts toward universal enlistment, saying it is all the more sad that in times like these all some people are concerned with is the yeshiva students devoting their lives to the study of Torah.
What HaPeles doesn't tell its readers is that because so few haredim serve in the military, very few haredim have guns or have access to guns.
Secular Israelis have much greater levels of gun ownership and gun access.
Even so, and even with the high levels of financial insecurity and related problems, Israel has relative few mass shootings that are not terrorism-related.
You are much more likely to be shot in a school or post office in Texas – a very religious state – than you are in Israel.
But what is truly appalling is HaPeles' disregard for the families and friends of the dead and injured and its craven use of a national tragedy to further its own sectarian agenda.
As for the rest of its claims, the streets of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak are full of shabbabnikim – haredi "bums" who have left or who have been kicked out of yeshivas and who spend their days roaming the streets and getting into all sorts of trouble.
Auerbach and other haredi rabbis do not consider these "bums" to be "true" haredim (look up the No True Scotsman fallacy), and their crimes and misdemeanors therefore do not count against the haredi community in Auerbach's eyes.
However, secular kids who drop out of school or who are expelled and who roam the streets getting into very similar types of trouble do count against the secular community in Auerbach's mind, because in Auerbach's mind, all non-Orthodox community are full of debauchery and crime. These "bums" are simply the more visible elements of it.
The theology is sick and the logic is bad.
Unfortunately, it is shared by far more haredi leaders than there are who reject it.