War over girls' school
Photo: Amir Levy and Avi Peretz

Beit Shemesh: Haredi-religious war escalates

Stones thrown toward religious boys' school, injuring student. Group of haredim swears at students leaving girls' school, clashes with parents. Ads posted in ultra-Orthodox neighborhood imply haredim are pedophiles who 'enjoy watching little girls'

Stones were thrown Tuesday afternoon toward the "Orot Neriya" boys' school in Beit Shemesh – likely by a group of extreme haredim opposed to the Orot educational network's girls' school.


One of the stones thrown into the school yard hit a student in the leg. The boy received medical care. The stone thrower escaped, and a police force dispatched to the area failed to locate him.


Shortly afterwards, a group of haredim approached the "Orot Banot" girls' school and, according to the girls' parents, began swearing at the students as they left the building. A violent clash erupted between the parties, forcing the police to intervene.


אחד הפשקווילים שהופצו, ושהובילו לתסיסה

One of ads posted against haredim


What likely led to the renewed violent clashes was a personal campaign launched by the national-religious parents against leaders of the haredi battle.


Ads posted in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods in the city revealed the names, addresses and pictures of the haredi battle's leaders, implying that they are all pedophiles who enjoy watching the minor students and meddling in their affairs.


One of the ads stated, "X (the man's name) likes to watch religious virgin girls. How do we know? Because every day he goes out to watch them leave the Orot school. Look at his face – he must like them more than the others."


Another ad read, "Even Mr. (surname) likes watching religious virgin girls… Look at his face and see how much he enjoys watching little girls!"


The Beit Shemesh Municipality said in response, "Unfortunately, we see the police's early forecast materialize. It's a shame that the national elements – like the Prime Minister's Office director-general, the Education Ministry and the Public Security Ministry, which lack knowledge of the local, delicate and fragile situation – chose to meddle in the neighborhood dispute and take a one-sided stand in the battle between the city's different populations, causing the reconciliation and bridging attempts launched by the municipality to fail.


"The Beit Shemesh Municipality condemns the violence and calls on both sides to stop the deterioration and return to the negotiating table in order to reach an agreement. At the end of the day, these people are neighbors and have no choice but to get along."



פרסום ראשון: 09.06.11, 22:15
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