Monday, July 09, 2018

The Triumph of Evil

The look of street gangs in Jerusalem (Ynet)
What is the matter with these people?! I know we’ve seen this many times before in a variety of different incarnations. But it still upsets me every time it happens.

Once again we have protesters spitting on and otherwise harassing people they don’t agree with. I don’t know if it is the same one doing it each time. But this has been going on for years. And it is almost always done by youth. Which indicates to me that there is a culture in Meah Shearim that promotes this kind of evil. 

The question is, how wide is the support for this kind of thing? And how much of it is supported by their rabbinic leadership (e.g. the Eida HaCharedis). My guess is that those numbers are pretty big. And the Eida is not all that outraged by it. Because if that were the case there would have by now been some counter protests. Or at least one. I don’t recall anyone ever counter-protesting it. At least not from the Meah Shearim crowd. 

From the leadership we have at best seen only tepid apologetic responses amounting to, ‘We disagree with their methods but agree with their goals’. Or... ‘These are the delinquents of our society and don’t judge us all by them’. Or... ‘They are just a tiny minority’. 

Sorry. That doesn’t cut it. It happens too often to be responded to that way.  Their leaders either support it clandestinely – or are they are the most inept leaders in the Torah world. 

There is NEVER any excuse for this kind of behavior. To say it is uncivilized is an understatement. No innocent human being should ever be subjected to what this Charedi family was.  Non Jews; Secular Jews; Religious Zionist Jews; or Charedi Jews. NEVER!  None of that matters to these people as Tali Farkash reports in Ynet
A Haredi family participating in a graduation ceremony was attacked Monday evening after leaving the Strauss Campus, the academic arm of the Hadassah Academic College for Haredi students, situated in the heart of Jerusalem's Haredi neighborhoods. 
Protesters in the Mea Shearim neighborhood spat on, pushed and chased the family as they left the ceremony, after earlier one of them burst into the hall where the ceremony was taking place and disrupted proceedings. 
David Ben Naim, one of the ceremony's attendees, told Ynet, "An extremist entered and started screaming that academia is bad and tried shutting the thing down. The college's people removed him and locked the doors. 
"We thought it ended with that, but when the ceremony was over and we went outside, we found about 60 people standing there and shouting, with the police holding them back from getting into the hall." 
"For some reason, they decided we were the event's organizers and the entire group just started chasing us and screaming,"  
Protesters chased Ben Naim's entire family, including his mother... 
Ben Naim… (in) describing the evening's events... wrote, "I was attacked, humiliated, swore at and received bone-chilling wishes... 
"People who clearly had sons my age stood there, and wished me things I'm horrified to even repeat. An older man approached my father and told him, 'You wicked man, you'll be accompanying your son (on his funeral)…' God forbid! A puissant 14-year-old boy called out derogatory remarks to my father, who's 60." 
Ben Naim said he and his family were called "Hitler" and "Nazis" by the rioters, but that those were "peanuts. These harsh words were uttered by people calling themselves Haredim...
There are no words. Although I tend to believe that these people are something other than just street gangs, let us for argument’s sake say that is what they are. Street gangs that are equivalent to the street gangs of New York or Chicago. Where is the outrage?! Why does the leadership do little more than give tepid responses? 

Why aren't these gangs expelled from Meah Shearim?!  Why are they allowed to masquerade as members of their society?!  How can the leadership not fully cooperate with the police?! Why hasn’t at least one counter protest ever taken place by Meah-Shearimites together with their leaders?! 

Enough with the lip service. Enough with ‘there is nothing we can do about it’. Enough with every community has its  delinquents and gangs. 

How many more times will this be allowed to happen? My guess is - it will never end. I’ve quoted Edmund Burke before. But I think it applies here as much as it ever has: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’