Secular Right | Reality & Reason

Jun/10

19

Israel’s Fundamentalist Problem (ctd.)

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More on this topic, this time via the Jerusalem Post (June 7, 2010):

Hundreds of haredim were involved in violent riots in Jaffa on Wednesday, in Rehov Louis Pasteur around the site of an archeological dig.  Fifteen haredim were arrested.

The haredim maintain that the work desecrates the sanctity of ancient bones at the site. Rabbi Tuvia Weiss, the senior rabbinic leader of the Eda Haredit Badatz (rabbinical court), was on the scene to encourage the protesters and lead a curse against those working at the site.

Police said the demonstration was illegal. Demonstrators attacked police officers with bricks and rocks and also set fire to trash cans. There were attempts to knock policemen from their horses and five policemen were reported injured.

Two photographers were also injured and an Israel Radio reporter was forced to seek protection inside a police van.

The demonstrators broke into the old Jewish cemetery, which is close to the site of the dig.
Louis Pasteur and Yefet Street were closed to traffic.

A couple of days ago, two hundred haredim protested near the site and three demonstrators were arrested.  Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) reported that vandals had ransacked an archaeological excavation of buildings from the late-Ottoman period in Jaffa on Sunday night.

“The damage done to these impressive buildings from the late Ottoman era is irreversible,” said Dr. Yoav Arbel, director of the excavation. The archaeological dig is taking place before the construction of a high-rise building.

Haredim have demonstrated against archaeological digs in the area several times because of their opposition to disturbing Jewish graves on the site. 

“Lead a curse”. Good grief…

 

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10 comments

  • obijuan · June 19, 2010 at 6:47 pm

    The demonstrators attacked with bricks and rocks and yet the police didn’t shoot any of the demonstrators? How odd.

  • John · June 19, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I propose a “Finder’s Keeper’s” Law. Anything found in the ground for more than 100 years since it was last used/alive belongs solely to the owner of the land.

  • Don Kenner · June 20, 2010 at 1:52 am

    “The demonstrators attacked with bricks and rocks and yet the police didn’t shoot any of the demonstrators? How odd.”

    What’s odd about it? Israel is a civilized country (unlike her neighbors — all of them). She has many violent demonstrations (the vast majority by Arabs) and very rarely do any result in the loss of life.

    I can’t tell if you’re slyly pointing out Israel’s general civility (in contrast to the barbarism of the Arab countries) or if you are trying to make some snide comment about Jews being treated better than Flotilla-riding Arabs. If the latter, you are seriously misinformed and morally obtuse.

    If the former, then, cheers!

  • MSG · June 20, 2010 at 6:14 am

    “Leading a curse” is an appropriate response to allegedly sinful behavior. It was the rioting that was not appropriate.

  • vgk · June 20, 2010 at 2:21 pm

    I’m with MSG. I have no problem with almost anything that the chareidim do that doesn’t impact people who aren’t a part of their community (heck, even if they killed their “rebellious” pre-pubescent kids I wouldn’t care) and pronouncing curses is one of those non-impact situations (though a widely reported pulsa denurah against Rabin was followed shortly thereafter by a divine response, of sorts). I just want them to leave everyone else the heck alone and their ridiculous and violent demonstrations don’t do so (though they really aren’t any more violent than demonstrations by any other group of people and are generally less violent because they almost never involve any weapons more efficient than rocks).

  • Eyal · June 20, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    The charedim are the most important and unexpected variable in the equation of Israel’s future.
    On one aspect they are extreme fundamentalist and culturally very weird . On the other aspect they are saving us Israeli Jews from loosing the demographic battle against the Arabs. Also they are about 70% Ashkenazi which means they probably have high genetic intelligence. More so, unlike it is in the secular society where the high iq liberals are making 1-2 kids, the high iq charedim are making a lot of children. So the Ashkenazi charedim have a good eugenic affect on Israeli gene pool.
    Clearly the demographic future of Israeli Jews is in their hands.
    How will it be?
    The last time we had an extreme ideology that is implemented by a high genetic IQ society was in Nazi Germany and that was very bad….
    I’m not comparing the charedim to Nazis but the Germans are an example that intelligent people are very efficient and obedient in regard to what they are been indoctrinated for, no matter what it is even stupid or destructive or immoral stuff.
    Another option – the better one – is that when the charedim will grow too much they won’t be able to live on welfare and then they will have to start studying general studies and to go to work and become creative. Hopefully that will bring change and the young generation will rabble against the totalitarian control of the old rabbis and the extremers. In that case Israel will enjoy intellectual renaissance.

  • TAS · June 20, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Haredim also protested this week in opposition to a court case that forced an Ashkenazi girls’ school in Israel to be integrated with Sephardi Jews.

  • Apathy Curve · June 21, 2010 at 3:04 pm

    There’s no predicting what frightened people will do — and that’s an apt description of fundamentalist [insert religion]’s everywhere. They are frightened of death. Moreso than the normal “what happens to me afterwards” mental wanderings that are the curse of sentience. They are absolutely *terrified* of death, and so they lash out and engage in irrational behavior.

    Such people are to pitied — and when necessary, stepped on mercilessly. Their fear is understandable, but counter-productive behavior stemming from such fear is not acceptable and should not be tolerated. The only extant democratic state in the Middle East must not be undermined by fanatics. The cost to the region — and the entire world — is too high.

  • OFT · June 23, 2010 at 9:12 pm

    What does a muslim site in a land owned by Israel for 3500 years matter to them? The Ottoman’s wanted to exterminate Israel. If it’s a graveyard, it shouldn’t be disturbed. The muslim site is irrelevant to Israel.

    Israel was not formed a secular state. You won’t find Bibi, or anyone in the army saying Israel is a secular state.

  • SFG · June 27, 2010 at 11:19 am

    Eyal: if they could just get them to serve in the army, Israel’s problems would be over for a while. You’d have enough soldiers to defend against the Arabs…

    Eventually though the Arabs are going to catch up. You can’t live indefinitely surrounded by enemies, as the Crusaders found.

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