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Monday, October 22, 2007

Bad Behavior

Utterly appalling behavior over in Israel:
Five assailants believed to be Ultra-Orthodox Jews assaulted a woman and an Israel Defense Forces soldier Sunday for sitting next to each other on a bus bound for Beit Shemesh, near Jerusalem.

The incident began when the five men asked the religious woman to move to the back of the bus to prevent males and females from sitting together in public. When she refused, they beat her and the male soldier who sat next to her.

Police forces that arrived at the scene to arrest the men were attacked by dozens of ultra-Orthodox men who punctured the tires of their vehicles, allowing the assailants to escape.
I posted about a similar story last year, and I was equally outraged then. That incident, quite correctly, was blogged about and buzzed about all over the internet, with most who weighed in siding with the victim. There did, however, seem to be a running commentary at that time by some who felt that somehow the incident was mitigated by the possibility that the victim had "staged" the event, or was "raring for a fight", or had somehow brought the abuse upon herself by virtue of being an activist for the cause of keeping women at the front of the bus. Well, any suggestion that last year's incident was an isolated one, or that it was not an indication of a slide into zealotry by at least a subset of the Charedi community can now be put to rest.

And though the usual caveats apply about these renegades being only a small minority of their religious group, the fact that five perpetrators who happened to be riding the bus all stepped up so willingly to the task of abusing a woman who did nothing more than remain in her seat, and the fact that these five men were aided and abetted by "dozens" of their neighbors, all seems to point to the reality that this mindset is shared by more than a fringe group in the Charedi world. I'm sure I am not the only one who finds that thought distressing.

36 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.5tjt.com/news/read.asp?Id=1681

Thi is a link to a 5TJT story about being afraid to clear the street in Bet Shemash of debris placed there to prevent driving on shabbat out of fear of Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

If the ansestors of these Ultra-Orthodox Jews had as much moxey in prior generations as they have now, maybe som eof the negative tragadies that befell our ansestors could have been more mild.

I thought Ultra-Orthodox Jews solve their problems through torah not fists.

5:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We will soon read in a Haredi periodical that the woman started beating up the 5 Hareidi men and not vice versa. There was no soldier -the soldier was just used symolically to portray the evils of the secular zionist entity which allows women to sit on buses next to men.

6:27 PM  
Blogger Fern said...

While this situation is absolutely horrific and totally unacceptable, one incident per year is not exactly proof of an epidemic. Rather, it seems to be proof of occasional outrageous behavior by a minority group of people in the charedi world.

7:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Next stop: Taliban.

8:13 PM  
Blogger Halfnutcase said...

I wish once a year.

you missed it, this is twice in (i think) less than two weeks.

9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bad behavior?

Cutting in front of me on line at Zomick's is bad behavior.

This is more like a gang assault on people because of their religion. Which if it happened in NY would also be a hate crime. Not that their neighbors would turn them in over here either.

9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me understand ... it's okay to beat up a woman which requires actual physical contact with her but not okay to sit next to her?

What hypocrisy!!

10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

5:58pm "If the ancestors of these Ultra-Orthodox Jews had as much moxie in prior generations as they have now, maybe some of the negative tragedies that befell our ancestors could have been more mild."

NO no no ..... it is precisely because of such actions that those tragedies befell us!!!! These actions are clear examples of sinat chinam.

10:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me understand ... it's okay to beat up a woman which requires actual physical contact with her but not okay to sit next to her?

What hypocrisy!!

HAHAHAHA, I didn't think of that...excellent point.

11:22 PM  
Anonymous okay said...

Indeed an excellent point. It's only "negiah" when they say it is and when it applies to someone else. Can you spell hypocrisy?

12:44 AM  
Blogger MDmom said...

fern:

this happens more frequently than is mentioned. not all attacks are as large, vicious, and sensational as the ones reported in the papers. my husband's chareidi sem-girl cousin was attacked on a bus - she was not from that area and did not realize she had boarded a "mehadrin" bus (they are not marked, from what i understand) and was physically assaulted for sitting in the "wrong" place.

believe me, this slight, fine girl is not one who would have been "raring for a fight." why these men are allowed to get away with this, and why their rebbes don't say anything, tantamount to condoning this behavior (yet posters admonishing women for alleged modesty infractions are ubiquitous) is beyond me.

3:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I want to personally congradualte religious women for giving up their right to give divorces upon being married to religious men, so that they can be married.

DUMB ASSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

* so that they can be married with a minimum amount of accountability.

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Although such behavior would clearly be reprehensible, I wonder at the accuracy of the reporting. Haaretz is a very left wing newspaper not renowned for its accuracy. How likely is it that not one arrest was made? Not one eyewitness ready to come forward? Five soldiers unable to subdue one chareidi (and I use the term loosely since if this did not happen, he is not truly chareidi, but a simple thug) man? I have a certain degree of skepticism about the whole story.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Five soldiers unable to subdue one chareidi (and I use the term loosely since if this did not happen, he is not truly chareidi, but a simple thug) man?

You need to read the article more closely. OK. Forget about the article. How about the headline:

5 Haredi men beat woman who refused to move to back of bus

7:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And isn't it a rule that the woman gets the best seat anyway? If she wanted to sit there, I think according to halacha, they had to sit somewhere else.

11:12 PM  
Blogger Jacob Da Jew said...

"Haaretz is a very left wing newspaper not renowned for its accuracy."

Also reported in Jpost.com.

Stuff it.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oy! what are we coming to. i totally mock the wahabi muslims for their fanatical beliefs and we have our own wahabi jews. great!

8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the chareidi men probably did something wrong but the anti ortho left wing press of israel should not be relied upon

I would like to see some of the picutres of the bruises -

Again I think the men probably did something wrong but they probably were more verballly abusive than anything else.

11:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again I think the men probably did something wrong but they probably were more verballly abusive than anything else.

11:44 PM

Something like: "Get in the back of the bus with the other whores and the n*****s..."

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Myself along with a soldier buddy of mine and a nice chassidic gentlemen with his wife successfully battled the talibus from bnei brak to jerusalem.

Several yeshiva bochurs tried to get us to move our seats and to break up the married chassidic gentlemen and his wife up. We raised such a fuss that they retreated and people sort of filled in around us.

Lesson being you have to fight and protest and the next time you have 5 of your friends with you to enforce moderation.

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We are 2 generations from our wives wearing burqas

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