When silence isn't golden

By
January 16, 2012 17:53

Settlers and haredim are wrong to view denouncing their own thugs as a trap.




Settlers throwing rocks at Palestinians.

settlers throwing rocks 311. (photo credit:Btselem)

About 10 days ago, a haredi rabbi from Beit Shemesh published an impassioned rebuttal of the demand that mainstream haredim denounce the fringe elements of their community that have been harassing women and children there and elsewhere. No normative haredi condones such behavior, he wrote, but when a haredi condemns the thugs as a haredi, “he helps perpetrate the fiction that he and those like him are part of that group (the perpetrators), since whoever is NOT part of that group of malefactors is not asked to condemn them.” This encourages the false idea “that the aberrant behavior somehow stems from the core values of the entire group.”


I’ve heard similar arguments against the demand that mainstream settlers denounce the fringe elements of their community that have been attacking Palestinians and IDF soldiers. And since much of the media really would like nothing better than to tar all settlers and all haredim as violent, benighted and immoral, I can understand the argument’s appeal.

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