Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Young Women Attacked in Mea She'arim

Footage taken Tuesday evening showed dozens of charedi youths in Jerusalem chasing after two religious girls, residents of the Musrara neighborhood, pelting them with cardboard boxes, stones and firecrackers and swearing at them profusely.

The video was taken at the capital's ultra-Orthodox Mea She'arim neighborhood. The two young women happened to stumble into the middle of a protest arranged by hard-line Haredim of the Jerusalem Faction against the alleged IDF conscription of a baalat teshuva (newly religious) girl, according to eyewitnesses present on the scene.

The young charedim demonstrating at the site began catcalling and booing the two young women, exclaiming at them, "Shiksa," "Filth" and "Leave our region, sullied ones"— demanding they leave their neighborhood. The girls, for their part, snapped back at the protesters and a verbal back-and-forth broke out. The verbal spat, however, quickly became physical when dozens of Haredi youths began chasing the girls.

David Perlmutter, present at the scene, said the girls escaped towards the Shabbat Square, where a police force was stationed. "They were chased by dozens of youths, who intermittently encircled them and threw rocks and firecrackers at them," he said. "They were accosted," he further explained, "due to their indecent attire—relative to the area's norms—as well as due to the fact they happened to enter the vicinity of the protest."

A short time later, other eyewitnesses added, the girls returned to the site flanked by two more girls and a bike-riding boy, and tensions erupted anew. As the videos taken by Perlmutter and another man attest, bystanders attempted to physically hold off the attackers.

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