As Israel's elections on Tuesday were marred by scenes of violence at polling stations throughout the country, one woman found the process of fulfilling her democratic duty particularly harrying.
Tamar Mayer, 19, made a stop at a Ramat Beit Shemesh polling station on Tuesday afternoon so that her friend could meet a family member. In Israel, voting stations are assigned to each citizen according to their location of residency, and so Mayer was required to go to that specific polling station if she wished to vote.
They were driving down Yarden Street, the main road connecting the Aleph and Bet neighborhoods in the city, but since they weren't sure exactly where the polling station was, they stopped to ask some policemen, who gave them driving instructions, but added: "Be careful, there are radicals there."
They found the polling station, and her friend exited the car.
Surrounding the polling station were about 30 ultra-Orthodox (haredi) children protesting, led by around seven rabbis who were screaming into megaphones. Signs held up said "The Torah prohibits voting."
"It was crazy for me to see that this is what their education is like," she told The Jerusalem Post.
The protesters were situated at the lower end of a hill. Three policemen lined the top.
Police and security personnel were present at polling stations all over the country yesterday, handling crowd control.
The children started yelling slurs towards the police officers, among them "Here is Hitler," "Nazi" and "Children chaser."
Mayer started filming the incident, later recalling having a hard time believing what she was seeing.
One of the children noticed her, and walked over to the car, instructing her to "put the iPhone away." He then kicked the car strongly.
More protesters followed, surrounding the car, kicking it on all sides.
One picked up a rock, throwing it directly at the car window.
As soon as the rock was picked up by the child, the three police officers ran down towards her, chasing the children away. She heard them call her "shiksa" (derogatory term for a non-Jew) as they ran away.
"I was shaking, I was scared," she said, recounting lowering her head in the face of the rock.
The leaders of the protest saw the whole thing.
Mayer added that she knows this group doesn't represent the entire haredi community, that this was a fringe group, "but I was so sad.
"I think it's such a privilege that we have a country where we have the right to vote. My Holocaust survivor grandparents would have done anything to [have the opportunity]."
Mayer was saddened by "the violence, that they feel they can act like that, scare someone helplessly alone in a car."
Mayer voted later that day, an experience that was especially "empowering," even though this wasn't her first time voting.
"People don't speak about this enough," she said, recalling a conversation she had with friends from other communities, who were shocked to hear that this can be a regular occurrence in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
"It's nice that I can vote in the change I want to see," added Mayer.