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Thursday, July 11, 2013 

Shopping mall in Ramot shouldn't pander or give in to Haredi demands for compliance to their beliefs

Public Radio International's covered the case of the Ramot shopping mall that's being boycotted by much of the Haredi population living there, all because they decided it didn't conform to their petty demands for what might be called "Haredi compliance". First, they didn't want a mall built there. Then, they agreed so long as there wasn't a movie theater included. They also demanded that the shopkeepers dress in modest clothing. And then even that wasn't enough, so they boycotted it:
The proposal was finally approved, but under one condition, Lendner says: Mall developers had to scrap plans to include a movie theater.

Ultra-Orthodox Jews typically don’t go to the movies.

Then, after the mall was built two years ago, ultra-Orthodox Jewish rabbis in the suburb made other requests, like asking shopkeepers to dress in modest clothing. Then a month ago, the rabbis said shopkeepers were ignoring their requests.

So, they called on their community to boycott the mall, which is now nearly empty. In store after store, merchants say their sales are down as much as 50 percent.

Some stores have made changes. One clothing store manager said she removed all the posters featuring models, turned down the pop music, and even dressed her mannequins in long sleeved shirts and long skirts. Despite these gestures, the boycott of the mall continues.

This saleswoman at Fox, Israel’s version of the Gap, is enraged.

“The ultra-Orthodox want us to be like Geula,” she said, referring to one of the most cloistered of Jerusalem’s ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.

“It won’t happen,” she said. “The mall will not give in.”
I certainly hope not. The whole notion that "modesty" must be complied with at all costs is ridiculous and shows how low many Haredis' self-esteem must be.
Those boycotting the mall aren’t so sure about that. Shay Horovitz is a representative of the ultra-Orthodox rabbis heading the boycott.

“It feels pretty offensive to come, you pay money, and do shopping in a place that doesn’t give honor to your values and way of living,” he said.
Their "values" don't amount to diddly squat when a lot of them can only think of living on welfare in a ghetto environment. And the idea that "seculars" must conform to their beliefs but not the other way around is despicable.

Here's an earlier report about this.

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