Above: file photo of haredim stoning police in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem
IDF Reserve Soldier And His Two Young Children Attacked By Haredim In Beit Shemesh
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
An IDF reserve soldier and his little children were attacked and his car windows were smashed by a mob of haredim in Beit Shemesh Monday night, Behadrei Haredim reported.
The reserve soldier, from Netivot in southern Israel, left his two sons with his parents in Beit Shemesh, which is a bedroom suburb of both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and went off to fight in Gaza.
Later, he received a few hours leave from the war and drove to his parents' house to see his children. Once there, he took them to pray with him at the Vilna Gaon Synagogue on Hillel Street.
After prayers, extremists shouted at and threatened the soldier, his two little children and his brother, and smashed the windows of the soldier’s car.
Magen David Adom was called to the scene, and a member of the MDA unit told Behadrei Haredim that when he arrived, he saw the soldier, the soldier’s brother and two young children aged 4- and 5- years old surrounded by haredi extremists who were screaming, calling the soldier a “sheygetz" (an insect, a derogatory Yiddish term for a non-Jewish male) and other names, and threatening him.
When police arrived and the extremists fled – but not before they had smashed the windows of the soldier’s car.
The soldier’s car was un-drivable as a result, so the MDA volunteer took him, his brother and the children in ambulance.
"No one was physically assaulted, but the children were very frightened, and were suffering from severe anxiety…,” the MDA volunteer told Behadrei Haredim.
It is still unclear if police – who have a long track record of turning a blind eye to haredi violence in the city (as does the city’s haredi mayor, Rabbi Moshe Abutbol of the Sefardi haredi Shas Party) – arrested any of the haredim involved in the attack.
Due to years of haredi violence against non-haredim, non-haredi residents of Beit Shemesh, who make up just over half the population of the city, previously floated the idea of splitting the city in two, essentially tossing out haredi areas of the city. So far, the government has failed to approve the plan.
Haredim have flooded to the city to escape severe housing shortages and high housing prices in haredi areas of Jerusalem – including the radical anti-Zionsit haredi neighborhood of Mea Shearim.
Update 1:29 pm CDT 7-29-2014 – The Jerusalem Post adds:
…Shas chairman MK Arye Deri denounced the attack calling in “an act of terrorism” and calling for the perpetrators to be dealt with like terrorists. “The hand that is raised against a soldier must be cut off.”
MK Yaakov Litzman of United Torah Judaism (UTJ) called the incident “extremely serious” and called on the police to bring the perpetrators to justice.
“This is a communal crime and a terrible injustice that will besmirch an entire community. The police must treat such wild people with severity,” he said on Kol Barama radio.
UTJ MK Moshe Gafni said it was an incident of the most extreme severity and was also a desecration of God’s name which endangered the haredi community.
Yesh Atid and Beit Shemesh resident MK and Rabbi Dov Lipman welcomed the condemnations of the attack by haredi politicians but said that the fierce attacks from the haredi world on the recently passed law for haredi conscription had contributed towards the atmosphere of hate towards the IDF.
“While I applaud the condemnation of the attack from haredi leaders and I know that only small numbers of extremists would ever attack soldiers, I don't think the haredi political and rabbinic leaders can claim complete innocence,” Lipman said. “Their non-stop incitement against the government and the suggestion that haredim should serve in the army plays a role here. Had the haredi community called 500,000 people to a prayer rally on behalf of the soldiers instead of against the draft law which implies against army service, I believe the picture would be very different even among the extremists.”
[Hat Tip: The Lion.]