Enough Already: Rioting in Mea Shearim & Jerusalem is Not Kosher

Sympathy is now all rioted out..

Every week, now seemingly every day. Rioting, stoning police, setting fires to police cars, garbage bins, buildings. Over what? A parking lot. A mentally unstable woman who abused her child!? An autopsy for a Haredi man murdered? Where does it end exactly.

The crime scene in Jerusalem’s Geula neighborhood has turned into a battleground between police and haredim. A few dozen ultra-Orthodox people threw stones at police officers dispatched to the hostel on Tsfaniya Street, where a 50-year-old man was murdered Sunday night during a fight. The protesters tried to block removal of the murdered man’s body from the scene.

In the Mea Shearim neighborhood intense clashes broke out between the two sides. Haredim threw stones and metal objects at police officers, who responded with stun grenades. Eight police officers and an ultra-Orthodox man were lightly wounded. Three police officers were evacuated to the hospital for medical attention. The rest of the wounded were treated by ambulance crews on the spot. Damage was caused to a police patrol car and two motorcycles.

Haredim started fires at a number of different locations throughout the city. A police cruiser was set ablaze on David Yellin Street [...]

I had some sympathy at first. Yes it’s true that being beyond ultra Orthodox to the point of removal from modern day society at every level is certainly a challenge in a modern state, even if it is the Jewish state. Personally it is a bit absurd for me, but to each his own - To a limit. This is not 150 BCE. Nor do we live in the Shtetl in some remote part of Poland or Lithuania. Polling originally done in Israel by Channel 2 of religious & haredi populations showed they overwhelmingly did not support this rioting. Most polled did not see any benefit, only continued detriment to Haredi & non Haredi relations within Israel. Many called it Hillul Hashem - Those are the understatements of the year!

Rioting in Mea Shearim & Jerusalem

Lack of respect

These rioters are extremists beyond normal definition of the word, Mea Shearim has become an alien landscape. They claim that the state does not respect them, but to date they have given very little reason for the state or anyone else to accord them very much respect, as they do not respect others in any shape manner or form & they seem to relish this fact. They seemingly do not respect law, be it biblical or state law for that matter. Throwing stones, lighting fires, all on Shabbat? This is not a siege & the Romans are not at the gate. For many it seems this has become a game, we see many smiling & laughing in the TV footage as they hurl stones at security forces.

There must be accommodation for all, these extremists do not own title to Jerusalem or Israel. They are citizens like all others even though many do not recognize themselves as such. They must respect the rule of law. Their customs & beliefs are already very much respected within areas of the city with massive Haredi populations, if that is not enough that is simply too bad. They are behaving like animals and destroying the image & reputation of hundreds & thousands of peaceful law abiding and valued Haredi Israeli citizens for what can only be described as absurdity.

Rioting in Mea Shearim & Jerusalem (AFP)

No one will win here, least of all this minority of the Haredi population.

Personally, I’ve had enough and I am very late to the party. The vast majority of Israel had enough weeks ago. The Hezbollah has created a terrorist state within a state in Lebanon. That is totally unacceptable. It is just as unacceptable that a group of extremist nutcases should venture to do the same in the heart of Israel. I find it particularly distasteful that like the Palestinians many of these anti-Israel protesters are using not only violence, but sending their children out to do so in their stead. Just like the Arabs in the territories & the Hamas.

We should react in kind, enough is enough. Bring out the water cannons, start arresting everyone & put it down like an Intifada because that is exactly what this is. I asked my Haredi neighbor here in Tel Aviv what he thought about all this as we met taking out the trash. He’s fully Orthodox with 8 kids, aside from the fact that he is raising chickens in my backyard (lol) I consider them model citizens. As an example the Rooster, which I was fully prepared to slaughter in the kosher manner has been removed in favor of accommodation. He answered “Busha” – Embarrassment  / Shame, and he was not referring to the State.

  • B”H

    Saus, Do yourself a favor. Read Haredi sources, too, like Hyde Park, Modiah, Yeshiva World News, etc. Then if you want to be negative about even a majority of this community, you’ll have a broader base of information.

    You know these leftists. Not only do they want you to hate settlers, they want you to hate Haredim, and love it when various religious groups yell at each other, and when hillonim go on anti-Torah rampages.

    They only tolerate [barely] the National Religious Party lapdogs.

    Israel’s future will be made up of hilltop youth, disenfranchised haredi youth, and arsim {all of whom must come together and stop being victims of police violence}, not the “cultural elite” who run ynet, haaretz, and YES the Jerusalem Post {which hates anything terribly religious}.

  • @ Ben-Yehudah:
    Shalom Yaakov, I’m prepared to read any Israeli Haredi source on earth, but what possible justification am I going to read in any source for setting buildings on fire, stoning police, torching police cars etc!? If they want to attack the state or destroy state property I suggest they begin by paying their taxes first.

    There are some basics here which will not change. The majority of the men causing this do not respect the State of Israel, do not represent even a slim minority of Israeli Haredim, and are employing violence & intimidation to further their own narrow agenda against seculars, religious Jews, and anyone else who does not ascribe to life exactly as they do.

    If Haredim in Jerusalem have issues, I am first in line to listen as Jerusalem is a special place with unique characteristics – but to a limit because everyone has rights & that includes all Israelis. Haredim can muster in a moment’s notice tens of thousands of people to march peacefully. But that is not the case? The reason is because these small groups causing this don’t have the support plain & simple. They are instigating this violence day after day & intimidating anyone who does not support them.

    If I am mistaken in this analysis, let me know – But pointing me to New York for sourcing? Frankly what people in NY think is irrelevant imho, I could care less what a Satmar rav in New York has to say, he’s on the wrong continent! This is a local issue that started over a parking lot, the fate of Judaism is not at stake here and I will remind that these sects are far from representative of Judaism, on the contrary they are marginalized extremists in many cases. I spent my life in an orthodox education and in orthodox shuls I’m not buying this Chiloni / Haredi thing. Who’s Chiloni & who’s Haredi? Who decides? People in Mea Shearim? I don’t recall Gd granting anyone this privilege.

    I understand your inclination because you have beef with the state over settlements, but I’m not sure why we might bring hilltopers into this or settlers, these guys spit on hilltop zionists, these are mostly sects that don’t believe in Israel let alone support Tzionut in any way! Kippot Srugot to them are nothing. Just because a man has Payot, does not make him righteous, nor does it validate his opinions in any way nor does it mean he aligns himself with you or I who may sport the same!

    I do not support violence against the State of Israel, I don’t care what the cause is even if it is just, it doesn’t matter if it is Kach, Lesbians, Satmars, Neturei Karta or anyone else. As I said I had some sympathy when I thought this was an isolated burst of spontaneity – Now it is clear this is an organized daily event complete with flyers & propaganda & intimidation of fellow Haredim of all people. I’ve seen this play before from the PA.

    I will read more per your suggestion, but I disagree strongly. Sorry about length, these are contentious issues I wanted to be as clear as possible.