Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Gangs of Jerusalem

Why is it that every time I read about Charedim in Jerusalem it almost always involves violence? These people are nothing but a bunch of primitive savages!

Those involved in the latest incident are no better than inner city gangs who intimidate through violence. The only question is why bother to dress and look like Charedim. Why bother with the long beards and long coats?!

They are criminals whose every move is a Chilul HaShem. Whether it’s torching stores in the name of Tznius or beating up women on buses or anyone who gets in their way - violence is their modus operandi. This is only the latest manifestation of it. Here is an excerpt from Ynet. This time it was about trying to control the elections in Jerusalem:

Tuesday afternoon dozens of ultra-Orthodox Jews tried to prevent voting at the Beit Israel neighborhood ballot in Jerusalem, apparently following disputes between different ultra-Orthodox groups.

Police and Border Guard police officers arrived at the scene to clear the rioters, and clashes broke out as the ultra-Orthodox began throwing stones, leaving one officer with light head injuries. The officer was taken to hospital for treatment, and one of the stone-throwers was detained for questioning.

Later, another altercation developed in the capital near a polling station on Yermiyahu Street. The clash pitted a group of ultra-Orthodox residents who object to the elections against Haredi voters who support the democratic process.

A civilian security guard who waded in to break up the fight was lightly wounded and evacuated to the Shaare Zedek Hospital for treatment. Police were called to the scene and eventually dispersed the crowd.

I’ve been told that it’s always the same few Charedi thugs who do these things. Frankly I don’t buy that. I’m not accusing the Charedi population in Israel as a whole. Never did. Never would. The vast majority don’t act this way. But it is more than just a few. And it always seems to stem from some sort of religious objective.

These are gangs - plain and simple. And why they are tolerated by Charedi leadership is beyond me. I’ve called for their arrest and trial in the past. I do so again here. Despite the way they look they are no better than the gangs of New York or Chicago. They may not have murdered anyone - yet - but can that be all that far away when violence of the sort that puts people in the hospital is so common? It’s bad enough when criminal thugs who are not religious looking Jews do these kinds of things., But when a Jew with a long beard and long coat does it is the height of insult to God, His Torah and the Jewish people – a real chilul HaShem!

If I were a Charedi leader in Israel, I would urge all Charedim to picket the police department until they clean up this mess. These Charedi gangs ought to be given the justice they deserve and locked up in a maximum security prison for a few years. If anyone needs to be taught Kavod HaTorah, they do.

I’m sure they think that their actions are done on behalf of God. That’s why they look the way they do. But they couldn’t be more wrong! They are criminals! They have not truly learned what Kavod HaTorah is or how to act in its behalf. Perhaps a long term stay in a maximum security prison will teach them the error of their ways. But even if it doesn’t at least it will keep them off the streets.