She recalled Tuesday's events and said: "the haredim attacked him and threw garbage at him." What has not been known is that her son became a haredi only five years ago and that his decision to serve in the IDF was a remnant of his past life.
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"My son is exhausted, he is traumatized. His brothers attacked him, and they should to rot in jail."
After the incident (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
According to D., her son, arrived in the Mea Shearim neighborhood to study Torah with relatives. When spotted in uniform he was attacked, and fled to a nearby structure, where he changed into civilian attire and contacted police to report the assault. During the attack he was pelted with stones until police arrived to disperse the gathering that had formed and four men were arrested.
According to her, the family is traditionalist and only five years ago did her son fully commit to religion and become ultra-orthodox.
"He grew up in a secular school where he excelled in his studies," then, five years ago, he became a haredi, and studied in a Jerusalem yeshiva.
"We told him ahead of time that enlistment into the IDF is nonnegotiable; you must give back to your country. He fully understood and accepted that," she said.
Became haredi 5 years ago (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
According to her son, the incident could have ended differently if he would have waited until the evening prayer and changed into civilian garb. That way he would not have been recognized. Nonetheless, she said her son claims he never felt fear or danger.
"My son will continue to go to Jerusalem to the same place, because that is where his relatives live; but he will no longer walk those streets in uniform," D. said.
Despite the fact that both she and her son are still in a state of shock she believes that the group that attacked her son was only a small, radical, unrepresentative gang.
"We shouldn't make generalizations and blame the entire community. There are many haredim who enlist into the IDF."
Suspect arrested (Photo: Nissan Zeev)
IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai has called on haredi leaders to "unabashedly condemn the attack on haredi soldiers."
"I shudder to think what would happened if a soldier was attacked in the Negev or in the Galilee at the hands of one Israel's non-Jewish communities. In such a case, the public uproar would have been much more severe. It is very serious that in the Jewish state a soldier is forced to shed his uniform to return home safely."
Nonetheless he stressed that "most of the haredi public accepts haredi soldiers. Hence we need to disavow the small minority and act against them."
Mordechai stated that in wake of the new enlistment bill signed into law recently, in addition to the 3,000 haredi soldiers already in the army, an additional 2,400 will be enlisted this year.
Noam (Dabul) Dvir contributed to this report
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