Thousands of Chareidi men (ultra-Orthodox Jews) protested at Kikar Shabbat, the main intersection between the Geulah and Meah Shearim neighborhoods in Jerusalem, this Saturday evening.
The protest was against what they claim is the unusual level of media incitement against their community these past few weeks.
The primary complaints the Chareidim have are that their entire community is being blamed for the actions of few extremists in Beit Shemesh, and that their gender segregated bus arrangements, in place for over a decade, are suddenly being spotlighted and they are accused of misogyny, over what they believe is a religious modesty issue.
What made this protest different was that for the first time ever, the Chareidim used media-savvy ‘gimmicks’ in their protest.
Some participants wore a yellow star with ‘Jude’ written on it, while others wore black and white striped prison uniforms, all very reminiscent of images from Nazi Germany. While this comparison may not sit well with the average Israeli, with the Chareidi community feeling under siege, these are images and messages that will resonate strongly within their circles.
Last week, two Chareidim were attacked and beaten up in the street, one was a thirteen year old. The Chareidim are blaming it on the media incitement against them
For more background on this story, see this article.