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Wednesday, February 20, 2013 

2 hoodlums from a "modesty squad" arrested in Betar Illit for assaults, mayor also implicated

A case of a Haredi modesty squad gang uncovered right over here in Israel. The Israeli police have arrested two members of a Haredi modesty squad for violent harrassment in the mainly Haredi town of Betar Illit, and the town's mayor was apparently aware of this too:
Two residents of the ultra-Orthodox city of Beitar Illit were recently arrested on suspicion that they had assaulted, abducted and imprisoned young men and women whom they deemed immodestly dressed. The two had allegedly assumed the role of a vigilante modesty squad in the city.

Beitar Illit Mayor Meir Rubinstein was also questioned in the case, on suspicion of obstruction of justice, fraud and breach of trust. Rubinstein has since been released.

Police recently received information about a possible modesty squad attacking residents in the streets in Beitar Illit, just beyond the Green Line near Jerusalem. Police launched an undercover investigation that revealed that several men in the city were habitually assaulting young men and women they described as "dropout youth," beating them and making threats.

Investigators learned that the modesty squad would ambush these "dropout youth" at bus stops across the city and search for them in the streets. Police investigators suspect that at least in one instance the suspects even abducted a young man whose behavior they deemed immodest. He was allegedly taken to a remote location, imprisoned and beaten by the suspects.

The undercover investigation also revealed that senior city officials were aware of the modesty squad's illegal activities but had turned a blind eye and refrained from taking action against the suspects.

Additional suspects were interrogated in the case and placed under temporary house arrest.
Read the rest, and also see this older article that tells more about the horrific cases of harrassment that went on, and how a convicted felon was employed by the municipality, despite the shocking record of criminal activity he'd been charged with. This is a picture perfect example of what can happen when insular communities thrive at taxpayers' expense.

Update: more on the case here and here.

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