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Tuesday, July 09, 2013 

Haredi thugs attack another soldier in Mea Shearim

Yet another sick case of harrassment of a Haredi soldier by his own neighborhood took place:
A haredi soldier was attacked by dozens of haredi men on Tuesday night in the ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem neighborhood of Mea Shearim.

According to the police, at approximately 19:30 the soldier, who was in uniform, was surrounded and threatened by approximately 100 haredi men on Gimzo Street in the heart of Mea Shearim, but managed to flee to a nearby building and alert the police.

Several police units were called to the scene, including border police and riot police, who forcibly broke through the crowd of haredi men and succeeded in safely extracting the soldier.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the unidentified soldier was “shaken up” but not injured when police arrived, adding that stones were thrown at officers by the crowd before the soldier was transported to safety.

A low-level riot continued after the soldier was extracted, with more haredi men joining the crowd
, until the police succeeded in dispersing the protesters.

At least four arrests were made on charges of disturbing the peace.

Minister for Science and Technology Yaakov Peri, who headed a committee which has drawn up legislation for drafting haredi men into the army, strongly condemned what his office termed “an attempted lynch.” [...]

The rabbis of the Nahal Haredi combat unit for ultra-Orthodox soldiers also condemned the incident.

“The attack against the haredi soldier in Mea Shearim is an embarrassment and a disgrace, said Rabbis Yitzhak Bar-Haim, Yaron David and Tzvi Klebnou, among others, who founded the unit and serve as rabbis to its soldiers.

“This is an act which is not Jewish and not haredi but simply a disgrace of God’s name. With all the pain we feel as haredim regarding the steps taken by the government, it is forbidden for us to take out our anger against haredi soldiers who are our flesh and blood.

“The time has come for our community, the haredi community, to denounce these attackers, something which will prevent these shameful incidents from happening again in the future.”
The best way they can do so is to step up police patrols in those neighborhoods, and even install security cameras to keep an eye out for violent hoodlums.

The AFP says:
...when the police arrived, they too came under attack by stone-throwers who tried to stop them from rescuing the soldier, Rosenfeld said.

"Police were also attacked by 100-150 haredim who threw stones at them to prevent them from entering the building," he said.
Bleah. Here's a news clip from Ynet citing the condemnation by the rabbis for Nahal Haredi.

Update: here's a longer Ynet article with pictures, plus some more at INN. And the Times of Israel says that medics at the scene were also attacked. The Jewish Press also has some coverage, and told that:
...there were exceptions to the outrage. Haredi Knesset Members were silent, except for Shas.

[...] The attack was reported overseas and given headline coverage by Fox News, giving Israel a royal black eye.
I think I can comprehend what they're getting at here. Does Israel need such coverage? Of course not, even if Fox understood anything about this. As for the Haredi MKs who failed to condemn the assault, this is very serious. Interesting that Shas was wise enough not to keep quiet, in contrast to United Torah Judaism, which did.

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