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Wednesday, October 17, 2012 

I hope the Margolis' don't leave Beit Shemesh, but cannot tell for now what they plan

The Jewish Press reported last month that the family of Naama Margolis, the young girl who was terrorized by Haredi extremists in Beit Shemesh, may be planning to leave the city:
In the headline-making interview, back in December, 2011, Hadassa and Na’ama shared horrifying tales of Haredi men attacking them every morning, as mother was accompanying her daughter to school. They were yelled at and spat on by Haredi men, they related, to the point where little Na’ama was staying home, refusing to go to school for fear of being attacked again.

The Margolis story was supported at the time by interviews with Haredi men who spoke openly to the cameras about the need to shame publicly women who do not adhere to the strictest Haredi manner of dress.

The Margolis family is religious but not Haredi.

Now, Hadassa Margolis is considering moving out of Beit Shemesh. This is despite the fact that their story had an enormous impact on the city, as Na’ama herself told IDF radio this week: “The extremists are no longer coming out when I walk to school,” she reported, commenting that “the news report changed reality.”

The same IDF radio report this week said that three kolels (yeshivas for married scholars) where the Haredi attackers used to belong have been closed down and the students left town. But that is not enough, apparently, for Hadassa and Na’ama Margolis, who say they’re still feeling traumatized by last year’s events.

“I’ve had enough of feeling like we’re anybody’s scapegoats (fra’yerim), I’ve had enough of feeling uncomfortable, changing clothes in certain places. I’m a little exhausted emotionally.”
I can understand why they feel this way. And those monsters who did this should be ashamed of themselves for causing them all this trouble. I'm glad if the pseudo-yeshivas they were hanging out in are no longer operating. There is still some violence there though, as back in June, some other extremists threw rocks at the car of a woman whose baby was with her. And as heard in this video, (if you understand Hebrew) there was even racism yelled out against Ethiopians (blacks) at one of these Haredi protests. The worst may be over, but we can't expect the problem to vanish entirely yet.

But I hope the Margolis' don't leave Beit Shemesh. I don't know if it's because it would be capitulation, but the city does need people like them around, and to bring it back to sanity again, they need to cut funding to many of the worst bastions of insular Haredi mindsets.

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