Many people do not understand the difference between Modern Orthodox and Haredi Jews. Well, here’s a case study. From JTA:
This time it started with cries of “Sluts!” and “Shiksas!” and the throwing of eggs and bags of excrement at young girls who attend a recently opened Modern Orthodox elementary school in this Jerusalem suburb.
The assailants: religious extremists from the haredi Orthodox neighborhood across the street.
It was the latest battle in the clash between haredi zealots and Modern Orthodox Jews in Beit Shemesh, a heavily American suburb of 80,000 about 25 minutes from Jerusalem.
The newest flashpoint is the recently opened Banot Orot school.
This is just the latest in the ongoing tension in Beit Shemesh between the city’s modern residents and their neighbors who live about 400 years in the past. There has been a great deal of violence, including acid attacks on girls deemed to be dressed with insufficient modesty. Now this school, founded by some pretty religious folks, is under assault.This is a scenario that repeats itself throughout Israel. Lately, the Modern Orthodox have been joining forces with secular Jews to put an end to Haredi intimidation. Famed Israeli author Naomi Regan has been one of the leaders, particularly with respect to forced gender segregation on buses.
I’ve made this observation before, but I think it bears repeating. I cannot for the life of me think of any other country where an unpatriotic minority, intensely disloyal to its own nation and living off the welfare of that nation, asserts so much power. It is beyond chutzpah. It’s so chutzpadik that it almost demands a new word!
If enlightened Israelis from all the camps do not build a consensus to end this, they’re going to find themselves living in a quite unenlightened place, ruled by ignorant men still living in the 16th century.