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Dec 24, 2011

Bet Shemesh Girl From OROT Is Becoming A National Icon (video)

Yair Lapid ran the following report on Channel 2 news on Friday, Naama Margolese is now on her way to becoming a national icon. And she is only 7 years old.

After the OROT Banot conflict quieted down for a while, recently the thugs have been coming out again screaming, spitting and throwing things.

As a result of this news report, a protest was arranged against the Iryah for this coming Tuesday. This is not the standard Bet Shemesh protest - this one is being planned as Israelis from around the country should come to Bet Shemesh and protest and protect Naama. A Facebook group was opened to promote and arrange it (actually more than one such group was formed), and there are already over 5000 members and the number is climbing quickly. Many are using the Facebook group as a place to express their anger at haredim and there is some nasty commenting going on there. How many will actually show up, only time will tell.

Tonight, PM Benjamin Netanyahu related to the incident by instructing Minister of Internal Security Yitzchak Aharonovitz to instruct the police to act with full force against violence against women. Netanyahu also instructed the Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to ensure that all laws related to "hadarat nashim" are being enforced in the municipalities.

MK Carmel Shama Hacohen came to Bet Shemesh last week, as part of his being the head of a Knesset economics committee that is looking into complaints that the Iryah of Bet Shemesh is giving preference to haredi construction at the expense of others.

Interestingly, MK Carmel Shama Hacohen Hacohen posted tonight an announcement on his Facebook page that "last Sunday the economics committee headed by me toured around Bet Shemesh the entire day and heard shocking testimonies, and the cry and distress of the residents - the old-times and the new moderate residents. I took advantage of my meeting with the prime minister about a different issue to say to him: If you do not get involved immediately we will lose the city of Bet Shemesh!" MK Shama Hacohen says that he has met with the chief of police on the issue, Minister of Interior Eli Yihshai who responded positively and asked MK Zeev Elkin to raise the issue of Bet Shemesh at the Likud meeting.

I point this out because in the Haredi newspapers of Bet Shemesh the impression is made that the strong response of Mayor Moshe Abutbol to those claims were the final word on the matter. Abutbol pointed to many projects he has successfully pushed through (and he has pushed through important projects), such as road construction, the Conference Center that is soon going to start construction, building projects at the entrance to the city, the Pinui-Binui project in Old Bet Shemesh, to show that the city does not give preferential treatment to one sector over the other. Abutbol also asked the committee to publicize his call to any group who would be interested to move to Bet Shemesh, religious or not, to call him directly and he will help them get through all the issues and beauracracies. I guess Mk Hacohen didn't take that as the final word.

I think it is time for a "hadara" of a different type - City Councilman Eli Friedman (TOV) said last week that we should enforce a "hadara" - removal - of these extremists from the city. I think Eli should get to work on that issue right away.

What I don't get is why the haredi leadership - be it rabbonim or askanim or politicians - does not reject these people and their behavior. All they do is criticize the media and the general public for being anti-haredi. As long as they don't speak up, reject them, push them away, the rest of the population does not know how to differentiate between the different groups. These thugs, besides for harming the general public and making a chilul hashem, do great harm to the general haredi community.


  1. Rafi-why don't you start by asking YOUR Rav?

  2. he answered that already. But I am talking about at the national level. All week long we have heard quotes about how its just a small group, and hardly anyone uses mehadrin buses and nobody cares about this, and only they behave like this, etc. There was a fight between askanim about whether or not Rav Elyashiv supports mehadrin bus lines or not.

    They, the politicians especially, but also the gedolim, the leaders of the haredi community not shul rabbis that nobody outside their own shul listen to, need to work to toss this bunch out of the haredi community. When people think of haredim they should not equate these thugs with the regular haredi community.

  3. But if the local shul Rabbis, including the moderate-charedi ones, say "I will not address anything about that group because they have nothing to do with real charedim" then the message never gets to the top that there's a problem. And that message would have to come from the inside - not the blogs, not the news media, not the politicians who visit with askanim in triplicate, not the tourists coming for autographs I mean brochos....

  4. Rafi, I hate to say it because in a lot of ways I respect your Rav, but I think the reasons he gave are the same sorts of reasons that are given on a national level. If someone like him, who has guts, makes excuses for not condemning this sort of thing, then what do you expect from the national figures who have less guts?

  5. I dont expect anything. they havent done anything until now and i dont expect that to change. I am saying that this is something they need to do. not something they will do.
    and I agree the original petition should have been signed back then.

  6. Rafi:

    I recall reading on your bloag a few months ago that Rav Kupshitz attended a rally supporting the thugs. Rav Malinowitz tried to re-interpret that stance, but I'm not quite sure that Rav Malinowitz's position is the one understood in the Charedi world.

    Is my memory correct or an I suffering from early onset Alzheimer's?

  7. yes, it was something like that. I am not talking about rabbis like Rav Kupshitz. He is one of the leaders of the kannoim. Even if he doesnt agree with everything they say or do, he isnt going to denounce them, as he is one of them.
    we need people like Moshe Gafni and Litzman denouncing them, not fighting on their behalf in government, etc., Maybe they need to join the fight against mehadrin buses and other issues dear to these kannoim.
    they should get the gedolim they are close to and consult with on every issue to speak out against them.
    The regular haredi leadership needs to act as if these people are not part of the group/

  8. Rafi:

    As long as the crazies have some sort of Rabbinic backing, the Haredi knesset members will not do anything serious against them.

    Even Rabbi Malinowitz won't take a public stance against them! Why would a more extreme Haredi politician do so?

  9. I am saying that this is something they need to do. not something they will do.

    is there anything that can be done to push them in this direction?

  10. What I don't get is why the haredi leadership - be it rabbonim or askanim or politicians - does not reject these people and their behavior.

    Because they have many shared goals. Mainly that of solidifying Charedi control wherever they live in large numbers. Yes, that includes Bet Shemesh.

  11. thats for sure, Mark. The only thing is when as a result of their actions such a strong wave of anti-haredi sentiment is washing through the country, rightfully or wrongfully, it is time to weigh whether there is more being lost by this relationship than being gained

  12. Ben - I would have thought that all this anti-haredi talk would be enough to push them in that direction. Instead they just continue to ignore it as if it is not their issue.

  13. Mark said it. Who remembers the last elections, when these elements (who usually don't vote on principle!) played a major part in Abutbol's win?

    So long as the Haredi political leadership tells the Haredi religious leadership that they are either (a) helpful to the cause or (b) not an issue, they'll get Haredi support, minus the occasional Mishpacha "we-don't-agree-because-we're-moderate" article.

  14. Until the members of the charedi community demand their rabbis to do something, nothing will be done.

    You need to write paskelvim, not blogs :)

  15. The hypocrisy of the haredi establishment STINKS. Any effort to keep haredi population or institutions out of a city is greeted with shrieks of 'anti-semitism' and 'anti-haredism.' But they can do the SAME to these 7 year old girls and their school. They don't want their schools in "their neighborhood." What's good for the goose is good for the sauce. Why can't other Israeli cities do all they can to keep out haredim the way haredim themselves try to keep out these 8 year old girls ???

  16. Charedim cannot live with others, there is no way for them to bring up their children the way they prefer in a mixed environment. Therefore most Charedim have to live in separate cities where they can prevent their children from seeing frum people living in ways different than they are teaching them to live. It's sad, but it's a fact.

  17. Rafi, if anything, the anti-charedi sentiment pushes the mainstream closer to the extremists- it shows them "See, we're all fighting on the same side!" I don't think the mainstream charedi leadership really sees anything lost by not denouncing the extremists. If they did, they would have forcefully and publicly denounced them long ago.

  18. As an outsider, it worries me that this Israeli "Taliban" may one day control Israel's nuclear arsenal.
    Hopefully the moderates can control them and reduce their influence.


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