Haredi riot 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Beit Shemesh reeled on Sunday as tensions exploded between the ultra-Orthodox
and national-religious sectors.
A crew from Channel 2 filming in a haredi
neighborhood was stoned and one journalist was lightly injured as dozens of
haredim surrounded their car and attempted to smash their
PM: No place for harassment or discrimination in Israel
Metzger: Haredim have no right to force segregation on bus
Also on Sunday, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court released a
haredi man from Beit Shemesh who had spit at a woman he claimed was dressed
immodestly. Meir David Ayzonblech was arrested on Saturday night after he was
caught on video by Channel 2 spitting at a woman last week. Ayzonblech was
released late Sunday night after the judge ruled that he did not pose a threat
to the public, but was ordered to stay out of Beit Shemesh for a week and pay
fines of several thousand shekels.
A leader of the Beit Shemesh Eda
Haredit group, Rabbi Shimon Shasi, testified on Ayzonblech’s behalf and told the
court that while spitting or throwing things at women is forbidden, the haredim
actually treat their women “like kings.”
“From an ideological standpoint,
it’s actually that the woman is a king within her group, and not everyone has contact with the kin; that’s the halachic way to
honor a woman,” he said.
Jerusalem Police Chief Cmdr. Nisso Shaham
appealed to Beit Shemesh Mayor Moshe Abutbol on Sunday for municipality
inspectors to work with police to take down signs around the city demanding
Printed signs and graffiti spray-painted on stone walls
dotted the city, requiring pedestrians to wear modest clothes or, in one case,
asking women to cross to the other side of the street in order to avoid walking
by a yeshiva.
Police and municipal inspectors removed signs in the haredi
area of Beit Shemesh calling for segregated sidewalks for women on Sunday night.
Police said men surrounded the inspectors, but that the crowds were dispersed
Last week, Police Commissioner
Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino ordered his commanders and officers to enforce
a zero-tolerance policy toward discrimination against women.
guidelines sent by Danino to police commanders, any form of this discrimination
must be treated as a criminal offense or a public disorder
Danino accompanied the orders with a condemnation of the
phenomenon, describing “any attempt to harm the rights of women” as