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Sunday, April 14, 2013 

Two differing takes on Haredis who reject wider society, and a really atrocious revelation about an already disgraced politician

Dror Eydar wrote about the case of Haredi lunatics who held a barbecue on Holocaust Day. While he doesn't deny that this appears to have taken place, he says:
Daily newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth's decision to publish a picture of haredim enjoying barbecues on Holocaust Remembrance Day is nothing less than incitement to bigotry. On the evening before Holocaust Remembrance Day, Yedioth columnist Nahum Barnea "caught" dozens of haredim ostensibly barbecuing in Jerusalem's Sacher Park. It's not pretty. It's even a little annoying. Still, it doesn't say anything about the entire haredi public. But Yedioth decided to barbecue the ultra-Orthodox community. [...]

In other words, the masses have gathered at Yad Vashem, but the others? Well, the others ... Where did these kids come from, anyway, and which sect do they belong to? Can we differentiate between them and other haredim? Yedioth doesn't offer any background. Apparently, it doesn't owe its readers information. It provides the demon, the scapegoat. In Barnea's column, which followed the story, the author intertwined the trail of smoke from the barbecue with the plumes from the crematoria. He was smart enough to phrase it negatively: "The smoke was gray and thick. The smoke had nothing to do with the Holocaust." We almost thought otherwise.[...]

And here's the scoop: A writer for Yedioth's website Ynet told Galei Yisrael radio that his paper had photographs of a celebrity sunbathing on the beach during Holocaust Remembrance Day. The paper mulled publishing the pictures. In the end, it didn't. He wasn't haredi.
Okay, there's a legitimate argument here, that the sects these scum belonged to weren't mentioned, whether it's the Satmar or another just as deluded sect. Which suggests Ynet was trying to paint all Haredis with the same brush. And that the paper refused to publish the snapshots of a celeb on the beach that day is another grave minus.

Even so, the way he describes the paper publishing a picture of an atrocious scene is ludicrous. The public doesn't have the right to know that somebody was disgracing the nation, even if it was only a handful? What matters is that they failed to be balanced and publish the celeb's pic of his disgraceful ignorance and disrespect. And for that, they should be looked upon with just as much shame. It shows they're selective and that celebs who ignore important memorials are apparently a "protected" class.

There is a valid argument that can be made that the paper did blow it out of their wretched biases. But that doesn't mean we should act as apologists.

Mati Shemoelof had another take on this:
The publication in Yedioth Ahronoth of a photo showing haredim barbecuing in Jerusalem's Sacher Park on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day was a wise move. Freedom of speech is an important value. It would be wrong to suppress a photograph that makes us uncomfortable, especially because it is dangerous to deny the problem and pretend it doesn't exist.

Many haredim, like many secular people, do not always agree with the hegemonic narrative of Holocaust Remembrance Day. The desire to play down this difference does not sit well with freedom of speech. The media have the right and the duty to print troubling photos pointing to conflicts that occur on sensitive days like Holocaust Remembrance Day and Memorial Day for Fallen Soldiers and Victims of Terrorism.

We must not try to prettify reality. Most of the haredim who held barbecues on Sunday evening knew that it was the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day. No one in Israel could miss this. Everyone — Arab or Jews, secular or religious, rich or poor, knows this is a remembrance day that unites the entire nation and should be honored.

But those people knowingly chose to demonstrate disrespect for those Holocaust survivors still among us. We don't have to compare their actions to sacrilege, as did Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger. After all, this national holiday was created by the state, which is no one's spiritual authority. People are free to go wherever they want on any day they want. Still, if the celebrants examined their own consciences, they might have decided to behave differently.
He's right that the picture should have been published, and good that it was. But Ynet's failure to publish the unnamed celebrity alongside it sabotages the ability to give real credit to the paper for doing so. That's the vital point.

With that told, we now arrive at the third part, which focuses on abominable comments made by the veteran leader of Shas, Aryeh Deri. He said:
"Holocaust Remembrance Day does not apply to haredi [ultra-Orthodox] Jews," Ultra-Orthodox Shas party Co-chairman Aryeh Deri said in an interview with haredi radio station Kol Barama set to air Thursday night.

"Personally, I don't see any sanctity or distinctiveness in this day. Israel's Chief Rabbinate has designated the 10th of Tevet [the Hebrew month corresponding to December-January] as a general mourners' day, and that is they day when, religiously speaking, we remember the victims of the Holocaust. Then came the state, the secular authorities, and decided that Holocaust Remembrance Day would be in the month of Nisan, and we all know that you don't mourn during the month of Nisan [March-April] and that there are special rules on the issue in Jewish law."
Religious law is not a defense for these obscene comments he made, and who is he to judge or dictate? In one fell swoop, he's desecrated the memory of many Holocaust victims and survivors, and embarrassed many decent Haredis by claiming de facto that they're not part of the Jewish nation. He's embarrassed many decent Haredis too by speaking in their name.
Deri said the Nisan date had been chosen because it the date on which the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising began 70 years ago. Deri argued that the anniversary of the uprising should not serve as the general day of remembrance, because many had been killed in the uprising.

"Some 200 to 300 young people launched the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and in other ghettos there were more survivors. Is the grandmother who survived in Lodz worth less than those 200 individuals who launched the uprising?" Deri said.
I can't understand the garbled babble this man's coughing out. And since when did anyone ever say that a grandmother who survived the horrors didn't matter? That's why for many years, Holocaust survivors have been invited up to the podiums at Yad Vashem to light memorial candles.
"No one can come and tell us about the Holocaust. The Holocaust Remembrance Day that 'they' declared because of the Warsaw ghetto doesn't apply to us as haredi Jews," he said.
All he's done is prove he hasn't learned a thing in his life about respect for innocent human life no matter what the religious standing of a person happens to be, given anyone with common sense a reason to recoil in horror, and explain perfectly why it's very lucky he's not in the coalition.

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