Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Modesty Patrols Under Attack

The Israeli government is finally responding to the terrorist actions of Haredi "modesty patrols" -- basically, ultra-orthodox Judaism's answer to the Taliban. Women have been assaulted in their homes, had acid thrown upon them, and faced constant threats and intimidation by (generally young) men claiming to be enforcing the strictures of their faith. There have also been violence directed at stores said to be selling irreligious items (in this case, media players with small screens which could be used to discretely watch adult movies).

The Orthodox organizations which organize the patrols do not explicitly endorse the violence, but do not condemn it either.
[Rabbi Shmuel] Pappenheim said the committee follows very legitimate and acceptable methods but is also willing to let street justice step in if its efforts are unsuccessful.

He says the committee does not approve of violence, yet it also doesn't necessarily condemn it.

"They are not sorry that this individual brought this upon himself, that he ignited his environs against him and caused himself to be beaten," Pappenheim said. "They say, 'You thought you were smart enough on your own and didn't want to understand us, so you got what was coming to you.'"

These people represent a massive threat to Israel's liberal democratic structure. It's well past time the Israeli government deal with the extremists running rampant throughout their society.

Via AAB's link farm.

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