Haredi protest against religious school (archives)
Photo: Ben Kelmer
Haredim call Beit Shemesh girls 'prostitutes'
After two months of relative calm, protests outside national-religious school resume

Not giving up: After two months of relative calm in haredi-religious tensions in Beit Shemesh, a number of extreme ultra-Orthodox men have resumed their protest against a national-religious elementary school for girls, which they claim has brought "immorality" to the heart of a haredi neighborhood.


Dov, a city resident who supports the school activity, has a habit of documenting the "haredi provocations" and posting the clips on YouTube. He told Ynet he had been called to the school at around 1 pm Monday after a relatively calm period.


This time it was a spontaneous demonstration, which according to Dov took place in an area the protestors have been banned from by the police – but by the time the police got there they had escaped.


He said that as he was photographing the incident, in which the haredim called the girls "prostitutes" and "shiksas" he was attacked by two of the protestors, who shoved him and then grabbed him and threw him on the ground until he was rescued by a friend.


The battle over the Orot Neria girls' school began ahead of the start of the school year. The educational institution can be seen from the windows of a haredi neighborhood, and its residents claim the students' clothing is "not modest enough".


An attempt to reach an understanding between the haredi residents and the national-religious parents before the start of the school year failed.


The school was opened at the beginning of the year under tight police security. Several clashes and noisy demonstrations took place at the time, but the struggle slowly died down – until now.



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