Thugs and hoodlums from extremist religious groups in Israel have been terrorizing fellow Jews for some time now. They have done so without fear of condemnation or retribution from the religiously adjacent charedi community. This recent wave of violence is not new nor is it shocking or surprising.
Spitting on young girls, calling women whores, forcing segregation at bus stops and on buses are all acts cut from the same cloth as the violence at Manny’s Bookshop and a political beating in Meah Shearim. We’ve known about this for a while. Nobody has said a word.
However, this time the media found out about it. So now it’s national and international news.
This has prompted responses and condemnations from rabbis, rabbinic authorities and lay people. That’s great. Finally. The problem is that these condemnations are so weak, hedged and long-winded that they, in my opinion, are a failure.
There is only one way to condemn violence and abuse towards women. That would be something like this:
We strongly condemn any and all violence towards women under any and all circumstances. Those who commit such acts of violence will feel the full effect and power of the religious and secular court system. They will be excommunicated from all religious circles and are heretofore to be considered persona non grata. If you know of any individuals who have abused anyone, whether verbally or physically notify the police and rabbinic leadership immediately.
What we don’t need is an explanation of how these people are not “real charedim”. We don’t need poetry on the majesty of tznius. We don’t need snide remarks about the secular media. Just speak out against violence, promise retribution and to take action.
Enough with the apologetics and handwringing.
Feel free to copy and paste my version of an appropriate condemnation on all the blogs and news sites that have published the watered down condemnations to this point. If you can, please credit this blog. Thanks.