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Wednesday, November 15, 2023 

Haredi extremists in Bnei Brak defaced posters of kidnapped/murdered women

In a case I guessed was sadly possible, in the Haredi city of Bnei Brak, some monsters defaced posters of female victims of the Hamas bloodbath, crossing a serious red line most severely:
Extremist ultra-Orthodox men were seen spray painting posters that featured photos of female kidnapped Israelis on Sunday in Bnei Brak. This incident has sparked criticism not only from the wider Israeli community but also within the ultra-Orthodox one.

Although extremist ultra-Orthodox men have spray-painted photos of women in the past, the sense up until now has been that the Israeli hostages in Gaza mattered more than political or religious affiliation.

Senior sources within the haredi community told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday that “this action does not align with our shared values, particularly at a time when the community is dedicated to supporting all those affected by the war.”

National and local response

Religious Services Minister Michael Malchieli commented on the vandalism: "The act of defacing these images in Bnei Brak is profoundly serious and is not reflective of the ultra-Orthodox public's values. The Bnei Brak Municipality's decision to involve the police in arresting the perpetrators is commendable. The ultra-Orthodox sector stands united, contributing significantly to the national effort in various ways."

The municipality spokesperson published a statement on Sunday morning: "Earlier today, we documented an act of vandalism against a billboard located at a synagogue entrance in the city.

“This billboard not only featured photographs of the abductees, both male and female, but also a heartfelt prayer for their safety and liberation. The municipality has directed its patrol teams to immediately arrest the individual responsible, utilizing area traffic and surveillance cameras for assistance. We have also urged the police to exhaust all means to apprehend the suspect,”
the municipality said.

“Such outrageous behavior is intolerable in Bnei Brak and among the Jewish community. We maintain a stance of zero tolerance towards such actions.”

Israel Police also responded to this incident and stated, "Recently, we received a report of an individual damaging images of abducted women displayed on Hazon Ish Street in Bnei Brak."

The police later announced they had arrested the suspect, a 36-year-old haredi man, and took him in for questioning.
I was worried before this could happen, and repulsively, it did. One must legitimately wonder if similar incidents are also occurring in Beit Shemesh, to name one more significant example. Those ultra-Ortrhodox who vandalized the posters have desecrated the dignity and memory of countless victims of sexual violence and murder by jihadists, and the Haredi extremists who did it must pay heavy prices for their contempt for life.

But if the ultra-Orthodox community really wants to prove they respect women's dignity in images, that's why any such opposition to pictures of women in advertising has got to be abandoned, no matter the subject. And, they'll make absolutely certain they also respect a lady's right to sit at the front of the bus, how she wants to dress, and if she wants to sing.

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