The soldier assaulted in Jerusalem’s Mea Shearim neighborhood on Tuesday stepped into the lion’s den of anti-establishment ultra-Orthodoxy: a street dominated by the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect.I'm not sure if anti-establishment is the right thing to call them, since the sect goes hand in glove with the anti-Israel establishment.
While politicians, army officials and others, many from the ultra-Orthodox community, have come out against the attack, residents of the neighborhood voiced little condemnation on Wednesday.So stupid it's not even funny. But it demonstrates the bizarre vacuum they live in, where every Jew who's not Haredi is only a "goy".
The rabbit’s warren of alleys surrounding the scene of the crime on Nahum Ish Gamzo street feature walls plastered with pashkvils — printed public notices — denouncing participation in national elections and graffiti berating ultra-Orthodox Jews who enlist in the IDF.
Spray-painted Palestinian flags and statements like “hardakim [a slur for "lightweight" ultra-Orthodox] out” and “hardak, if you go this far, you erred” present themselves on the masonry. The Hebrew and Arabic on the street sign for Ish Gamzo Street were blackened out, leaving an only partly legible English name.
Most of the residents of the immediate neighborhood were unwilling to discuss Tuesday’s incident. Some flat-out denied anything had happened. Dov, an elderly man who reluctantly gave his first name, said Tuesday’s attack was the first of its kind, and that it was a minor incident perpetrated by a small number of extreme individuals and blown out of proportion by the media.
While he doesn’t agree with the mandatory draft, he noted that his father and brother had served in the military. “Once it’s forced, it becomes another thing entirely,” he said.
One teen, a bashful 17-year-old who identified himself merely as Yitzhak, said the neighborhood where the soldier was attacked is a stronghold of the extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect and identified the soldier’s attackers as members of the group. He offered rare condemnation of the attack, calling it “not good.”
Yitzhak said that while the mandatory draft of the ultra-Orthodox was not necessarily a good thing, there was no call for maltreating someone for wearing the uniform.
When asked whether he would enlist should he receive a draft order from the IDF in the coming year, he said: “We’ll see what happens” and declared that he would consult his rabbi.
While speaking with Yitzhak, another Haredi teen approached him and warned in Yiddish against speaking to a reporter. Another teen warned in English that “my principal is going to come out and give everyone a punishment” for talking to a reporter.
Another teen standing outside the yeshiva on Ish Gamzo Street, who declined to give his name, remarked that the soldier “got what was coming to him.” His companion, 20-year-old Akiva, who wore the blue-and-gold pinstripe garment of the Neturei Karta, explained that “that’s what needs to be done.”
Akiva said that the residents of Ish Gamzo Street didn’t attack the soldier, they merely berated him. Only after the police entered the neighborhood did things get hairy, he said, justifying the assault of a police officer with stones.
“To shout, sure,” he said, condoning the invective of the attackers. “To assault, I don’t know.”
His bottom line, however, was simple: “This is not the place for soldiers in uniform.”
“Everyone who returns from the IDF comes back a goy [a gentile],” he said.
And the horror hasn't ended: just a short time ago, another Haredi soldier was attacked on Shmuel HaNavi Street by Haredis in a car:
In the second such attack in two days, on Thursday evening an unidentified, uniformed haredi IDF soldier was assaulted in the capital by fellow haredim opposed to mandatory ultra-Orthodox army service.I hope they catch the culprits in this case too. There should have been more arrests made in last Tuesday's attack to boot.
According to Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, at around 6:30 p.m., while the soldier was walking alone on Shmuel Hanavi St., the assailants drove up and began cursing him and throwing objects at him without provocation.
“The man took shelter in a nearby building and police units arrived shortly thereafter to protect him and secure the scene,” said Rosenfeld. “He was uninjured and has since filed a complaint.”
Rosenfeld said no arrests have been made yet, but that police are actively searching for the vehicle in question.
Update: YnetNews says the hoodlums' vehicle was a van:
Haredim driving in a van in a Jerusalem street allegedly tossed various objects at a haredi IDF soldier passing by on Tuesday. The soldier sustained no injuries as a result of the attack.He did the right thing to alert them, and they're going to have to increase patrols in those parts of the city.
The men in the van allegedly also cursed at the soldier, police reported.
When attacked, the soldier ran into a nearby building and contacted police, which soon arrived at the scene and escorted him to a Jerusalem police station, where he filed a complaint.
Police are currently trying to locate the van and the assailants, based on the soldier's description.
Talking to Ynet, the soldier described the incident: "I went out of the post office and started walking to my parents' house, when a van pulled over and I felt bottles thrown at me, as well as everything in the car, including snacks. They started shouting and cursing."
The soldier, who serves in the Ofer Base near Jerusalem, said the men kept cursing him: "I was afraid they'll get off and attack me violently, so I called the police."
Update: Yeshiva World says that a leader of Neturei Karta blatantly praised the attack on the first soldier. Absolutely sick.