Friday, November 03, 2006

Haredi Jews Riot In Jerusalem

A police officer and a Haaretz photographer were wounded in a confrontation between ultra-Orthodox protesters and police forces in the capital, as demonstrations against the city's upcoming gay pride parade raged for the third consecutive day.


Some 1,000 ultra-Orthodox protesters took part in Thursday's demonstration against the parade, which is scheduled for next Friday. At the end of the demonstration, the participants marched Jerusalem's Bar-Ilan Street in an attempt to block traffic. The police deployed officers on horseback to prevent the roads from being blocked.

The crowd threw stones and firecrackers at police officers, who attempted to disperse them by firing a water cannon. At least five protesters were arrested.

Prior to the clashes, Rabbi Moshe Sternbuch, head of the ultra-Orthodox legal authority, addressed opponents of the parade.

Wearing a sackcloth to signify mourning, Sternbuch addressed the assembled crowd of several hundred in Yiddish, telling them "complete devotion" should be given to preventing the parade from taking place.

"By fighting with all our strength, we will be rewarded with the coming of the messiah," he said. (Ha'Aretz)

Wow. Total lack of perspective anybody? Sackcloth? "Fighting with all our strength?" "Rewarded with the coming of the messiah?" This must be the most important event in the history of Judaism! It's a modern-day Megillat Esther.

Ed Brayton at Dispatches from the Culture Wars links to another article describing the same events. My favorite part:
Twenty-five protestors were arrested but leaders of the sect vowed that after a break for the Jewish Sabbath they will continue to demonstrate.

They're so pious they refrain from hurling stones and firecrackers at their fellow Jews on the holy Sabbath.

See also J-blogger Robbie's Why I'll Be Marching in the Jerusalem Pride Parade.


Chana said...

It's hard to decide how to respond to this. I don't think yelling, screaming, throwing stones or demonstrating in any violent way is helpful- I think it is downright negative and wrong.

For people to peacefully protest, however, is within people's rights, and I don't mind that.

As for the Gay Pride Parade itself- I think a big part of this are questions as to what these people's motives are. Is this going to be deliberately provocative- people on floats have nude, kissing and making out simply to irritate others? Or is this a deliberate and concerted effort to fight for rights?

The intention is important. Unfortunately, in such a parade, I assume there will be a mix of people- people who think it's unholy fun to mess with other people's views and make them feel uncomfortable, and other people who are truly sincere.

One thing is clear- violence cannot be condoned, especially from the ultra-Orthodox sector. God did not appoint you to smite your fellow Jew for his sexual tendencies. There is no reason or authority behind these attacks, and they simply give Orthodoxy as a whole a bad name.

Ezzie said...

I'm with Chana.

A small note... 1,000 people is actually a very small crowd for a Charedi protest. The Charedim could *easily* gather tens of thousands rather quickly if there were a drive to do so; I'm guessing that this is being mostly ignored (though probably noted) by the Charedi communities in J-lem.

asher said...

It's hard to believe that the only country in the middle east that there will be a Gay Pride Parade will be in Israel. I'm sure the governments of Jordan, Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, or the Palestinian Territories would be more accomodating. I'm sure those planning the parade should have taken those countries into account before deciding on Israel with this wholesale hatred of gays.

Blame America first, blame Israel second. Osama said America is the big devil and Israel the small devil.

By the way, aren't you glad you voted for John Kerry after his latest laugh riot?

Jewish Atheist said...


1) I wasn't "blaming" Israel, I was blaming the rioters.

2) "We're not as bad as Syria, et. al." is not a great motto.

3) I voted for Kerry because I knew that Bush was an awful president, not because Kerry was my favorite guy in the world. I voted for Edwards in the primary. Also, Kerry wasn't trying to insult the troops; even he's not that stupid.

asher said...


Kerry wasn't trying to insult the troops.

Could you tell everyone on this blog exactly what he was trying to say. And if it wasn't an insult..where is he for the past week?

Let the spin, begin

Jewish Atheist said...

Kerry, according to his prepared remarks, was trying to make a joke about Bush's lack of intellectual curiosity: "Do you know where you end up if you don't study, if you aren't smart, if you're intellectually lazy? You end up getting us stuck in a war in Iraq. Just ask President Bush." Alas, Kerry wandered off the prepared text and tried to put the joke in his own words. As all of us who survived the 2004 election know, bad things happen when he tries to do that. And so the joke came out: "You know, education, if you make the most of it, you study hard, you do your homework and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don't, you get stuck in Iraq."

Within moments, the entire apparatus of the Republican Party sprung into motion to convince the public that Kerry had slandered the troops...,0,7719843.column?coll=la-util-opinion-commentary

You can't really think Kerry would insult the troops on purpose, can you? Certainly not on camera!

Classmate-Wearing-Yarmulka said...

You can't really think Kerry would insult the troops on purpose, can you? Certainly not on camera!

Why not? He's said worse in front of the Senate?

They had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the country side of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and very particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country.

Jewish Atheist said...

It's one thing to courageously blow the whistle on fellow soldiers committing war crimes; another for a senator to smear the whole military as being dumb and uneducated. But you have a good point.

What do you think he meant to say, though, CWY?

asher said...

The spin continues

jewish philosopher said...

How do you think a gay parade would go over anywhere else in the Middle East? Why do Jews have to be more depraved?

Jewish Atheist said...

So, asher, JP, which is it?

Is Israel great because it's not as bad as the rest of the middle east, or is it not enough like the rest of the middle east?

jewish philosopher said...

Considering information like this, I don't quite see why a Saudi Arabian style death penalty for homosexual men should be controversial.

Jewish Atheist said...

Tell me you're not taking seriously an article in WorldNutDaily about a paper written by a nut with no credentials "about to be published" in the law paper of "America's preeminent Christian University." All of the facts run counter to his claims. Why don't you look for some slightly more objective research.

And, wow. You're still sticking by that whole death penalty for gays thing, huh?

jewish philosopher said...

Off with their heads.

jewish philosopher said...

Death to the pederasts and spreaders of AIDS!

Jewish Atheist said...

Lovely. A Jewish Nazi.

jewish philosopher said...

Who ever said Hitler was all bad. The wise man learns from everyone.

Robbie said...

hey JP -

You know who the biggest spreaders of AIDS are? Straight Men.

Wanna rethink anything now?

swurgle said...

Geez, JP, have you ever taken a non-venal position on any issue?

I guess Hitler was only bad because he targeted the Jews along with the Gypsies, the cripples and the homosexuals.

After reading your nasty comments, I need to go take a bath...

Sholom said...

Mad solidarity, Robbie. Wish I was there to march by your side; and to bash in a black-hatted head or two in self-defense.
Before there were yellow stars, there were pink triangles.

Jack's Shack said...


You have some real issues. I hope that you get some help for those.