A gang of overbearing religious scolds is targeting Jewish store owners who open shops in Williamsburg’s Satmar Hasidic enclave, ordering them to comply with a shadowy but strict set of standards or face sinful consequences.(Note: I corrected a typo in the sentence: I think they meant to say that "men and women CAN'T sit together" but somehow forgot the apostrophe.)
Residents said the Va’ad Hatznius — known as the modesty patrol — struck again Thursday, blanketing lightposts and car windshields with flyers calling for the boycott of a new women’s clothing shop at 100 Lee Ave. and trumpeting an afternoon protest.
The store’s offense? Having big windows, through which the sight of women holding up dresses and picking through clothes are too easily observed from the street.
“It is not right,” said Moshe Spira, the manager of Grill on Lee, a sandwich shop down the block from the dress shop, explaining that the “man and his wife, trying to make a living for them and their family” opened just days ago.
“When we opened the store, they put up flyers,” Spira added. “They made a protest saying, ‘Don’t eat here.’ We were the first fast-food restaurant in the neighborhood. They were saying men and women can['t] sit together and are on the line together. We just ignored them and they moved on.”
The manager of the dress shop declined to comment about being the modesty patrol’s newest magnet for wrath. Community affairs cops checked out the store Thursday, scouting for protestors who never showed up.That could suggest the spooks are losing some influence, but regardless, it's good that the police checked things out. These fiends should be charged with intimidation of the store owners, but depending which ones were targeted, we can't be certain they'll turn to the cops about all this.