OpinionColumn

Liberalism ends in Bnei Brak

Why can't some liberals accept haredim?

Israeli reserve soldiers and activists protest against the Israeli government's planned judicial reform in the city of Bnei Brak on March 16, 2023. Photo by Flash90.
Israeli reserve soldiers and activists protest against the Israeli government's planned judicial reform in the city of Bnei Brak on March 16, 2023. Photo by Flash90.
Merav Sever
Merav Sever is a columnist for Israel Hayom.

A protester exposes herself in front of a yeshivah student and sexually harasses him; demonstrators curse passersby who did not hurt them personally.

How does that happen?

The recipients of the criticism are brought down to the level of inferior beings. They are painted as a group in black.

They are displayed in prime-time news as the source of evil in this world. Resources are invested to describe them as parasites, primitives and misogynists, guilty of their very existence.

Then it is easier to incite the crowd against them.

Women and men who are seemingly normative, who assert themselves as liberals, come to Bnei Brak to demonstrate for women’s rights while trampling other rights along the way.

Are the haredi residents of Bnei Brak not equal human beings?

The current government’s actions can be greatly criticized. They may set back women’s rights. It is both permissible and necessary to demonstrate. But is forbidden to direct anger at innocent citizens.

A group of citizens who tried to bring the entire city to a standstill on one of the busiest and most hectic days of the week, the day when everyone is preparing for Shabbat, was given a free hand by the police to turn Bnei Brak into a ghetto and imprison the city’s residents in order to “enable the march by liberal women demonstrating for women’s rights.”

Women who demand public transportation on Saturday in Tel Aviv on the grounds that no one can tell them how to behave inside their own homes came in a patronizing and arrogant manner to kindly and slowly explain to haredi women how they should live their own lives in Bnei Brak.

One of the speakers called the residents of Bnei Brak “a community of people with disabilities” and “a city of Sodom and Gomorrah that has not contributed to the country in the slightest.”

This is dangerous incitement.

Over and above the fact that the majority of Bnei Brak women work and pay taxes, the proportion of working haredi men has reached 53.5% and is the highest in the past 25 years.

In Bnei Brak there are many charitable and altruistic organizations that provide aid to all residents of Israel, regardless of religion, race and gender: Ezer Mezion, Ezra Lemarpe run by Rabbi Elimelech Pirer and more.

In Bnei Brak, there is a very high percentage of volunteers in various rescue organizations, and it is one of the largest centers of organizations lending medical and other equipment for free.

The only achievement that these haughty and patronizing women might gain will be a gift to the extremists.

Even the greatest liberals within the haredi community will now gather around the tribal bonfire.

Delicate processes that began to take shape will now be destroyed.

A left-wing organization forming solidarity tour groups, under the leadership of Dr. Eran Tzidkiyahu, as part of the initiative for geopolitical education, sent a requirement for all participants in a tour of Hawara to come in socially appropriate clothing.

There they are allowed to show respect. Liberalism ends in Bnei Brak.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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