“In the framework of freedom of expression, every haredi Jew is entitled and obligated to voice his opposition to gate crashers [i.e., rule breakers] such as these [haredi soldiers who serve in the IDF despite rabbinic bans against doing so] who hope to diminish the pure atmosphere of our neighborhoods."
Above: The head of the Bnei Torah Party Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach
Haredi Deputy Mayor Demands IDF Not Use Haredi Troops To Protect Über-Haredi Neighborhoods Of Jerusalem
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
Jerusalem’s Deputy Mayor Chaim Epstein from the non-hasidic Ashkenazi haredi rebel faction’s Bnei Torah Party headed by Rabbi Shmuel Auerbach has demanded that the IDF respect the “purity” of haredi neighborhoods in the city by refraining from posting any haredi IDF soldiers in or adjacent to those haredi neighborhoods to guard them during this wave of terror attacks.
“In the framework of freedom of expression, every haredi Jew is entitled and obligated to voice his opposition to gate crashers [i.e., rule breakers] such as these [haredi soldiers who serve in the IDF despite rabbinic bans against doing so] who hope to diminish the pure atmosphere of our neighborhoods,” Epstein said, Mynet reported.
Epstein insisted the IDF was taking advantage of the current wave of terror and using it to station haredi soldiers in haredi neighborhoods to show residents that haredi IDF soldiers do good and save lives through their military service.
Epstein warned that stationing haredi soldiers in or near haredi neighborhoods like Mea Shearim and Geula could encourage violence from haredim against the haredi soldiers.
Those two neighborhoods abut or are just blocks from the large Arab neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, and haredi business leaders in the area asked the IDF to send troops to protect them. But they don’t want haredi troops because having them in the area would likely spark haredi violence against them.
“What is the rationale for creating problems during difficult times like these? Are these same soldiers being provocatively posted here just so that in a short time more soldiers will be needed in order to calm tensions here?” Epstein asked.
Local members the two major haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism (UTJ), reportedly called Epstein’s statement “delusional” and “full of chutzpah” while pointing out that it is wrong to put internal haredi conflicts ahead of public security. UTJ is the Bnei Torah Party's direct political rival.
[Hat Tip: Seymour.]