1. Stewart says

    The big irony is that they first engage in self-ghettoisation and then imply that that’s what others are doing to them.

  2. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    I hadn’t realized that one of the requirements for being an Orthodox Jew was membership in the He-Man Woman Haters Club.

  3. Riptide says

    Are the Haredim one of those sects where girls pray thanking G*d they weren’t born Gentiles, while boys thank G*d they weren’t born girls?

  4. Stewart says

    No, mainstream Orthodox Judaism (the Haredim are the “ultra-Orthodox”) has the men giving thanks for not having been made a woman, while the women give thanks to god for having made them according to his will.

  5. Jurjen S. says

    Is the picture of Anne Frank included as an example of someone the Haredim would have spat on?

  6. Stewart says

    I can’t speak for Ophelia on the choice of picture, but Anne Frank, by virtue of nothing other than her gender, is someone they would try to seat at the back of the bus or force to walk on the other side of the street.

  7. says

    Joe, I got a whole slew of memos from the pope, the archbish, the other archbish, the bish, the chief rabbi, Bill Donohue…I got memo upon memo.

    This was one memo too many.

    Oh and, again, thanks to Stewart for alerting me to it.

  8. says

    I’ve heard this sort of behavior described as a form of Holocaust denial, and I think there’s some truth to it. If you make an attempt at a straight one-to-one comparison between the deaths of millions of people and ANYTHING ELSE, you’re in fact minimizing and dismissing those millions of deaths as trivial. These bigots are comparing the Holocaust to their being inconvenienced and criticized for being bigots, as though the Nazis simply scolded the Jews and stopped inviting them to the best parties.

  9. Nomen Nescio says

    Improbable Joe makes an excellent point. not being jewish myself, i would be extremely leery of comparing the holocaust to most anything going on today; drawing such parallels in this instance seems very close to spitting on six million dead, to me. it’s hard for me to believe that someone could do such a thing and still call themselves an orthodox jew, but i guess that’s just how religion poisons everything.

    [rhetorical question for us amateur moralists — which is more ethically damning, spitting on X million dead who (being dead) won’t notice, or spitting on one live eight-year-old?]

  10. Mina says

    [rhetorical question for us amateur moralists — which is more ethically damning, spitting on X million dead who (being dead) won’t notice, or spitting on one live eight-year-old?]

    I believe they are both pretty evil. One is immediate damage, but the other contributes constantly to kind of world that allows the immediate to be dismissed.

  11. says

    Well… that’s a good question for us amateur moralizers. Mina has a point that the one creates safe space for the other. After all, if you’re willing to dismiss the deaths of millions, what meaning does assaulting and traumatizing one person have to you?

  12. Riptide says

    Nomen: It was 11.5 to 12 million dead, of whom about 6 million were Jews. Don’t let the fact that Jews formed the majority of victims blind you to the true breadth of the Holocaust, which consumed the lives of Jews and non-Jews alike.

  13. karmakin says

    Or one leads to the other.

    One day you’re spitting on a little girl, a few years later you’re wanting to kill her for the same reason. Dehumanization knows no bounds, after all.

  14. Forbidden Snowflake says


    No, mainstream Orthodox Judaism (the Haredim are the “ultra-Orthodox”) has the men giving thanks for not having been made a woman, while the women give thanks to god for having made them according to his will.

    Have you heard the one about the Haredi man who felt that uttering the word “woman” would be a breach of modesty code, and instead thanked God for not having made him according to His will?

  15. says

    karmakin – precisely. That too was part of the reason for including Anne Frank.

    Honestly…that these guys can spend hours every day calling little girls “sluts” and then claim that it is their critics who resemble Nazis…

    Where do they think Nazism came from?

  16. DR says

    Making a comparison is not the same as equating. So it’s perfectly valid to make comparisons between certain situations and the Holocaust, especially where there are strong points in common, just like it’s important to point out what modern movements have in common with Nazism (as long as the point in question is fundamental, and not accidental; for example, there’s a comparison to be made between modern marketing techniques and Nazi propaganda as they use the same techniques, even if their goals are different. But there’s no useful comparison to be made between modern vegetarianism and the Nazi encouragement of vegetarianism).

    To refuse to compare anything to the Holocaust is to insulate the Holocaust, marking it as an entirely unique event, and hence unrepeatable in any way. Then the statement “Never Again!” loses all meaning, since how can you recognize an event being the repetition of a previous one if you’ve made it impossible by definition for that event to occur again?

  17. Nomen Nescio says

    it’s perfectly valid to make comparisons between certain situations and the Holocaust, especially where there are strong points in common

    true, but there just aren’t that many current events that actually HAVE any strong points in common with the deliberate, industrialized murder of several million civilians. case in point, refusing to allow a bunch of religious bigots to discriminate against others as they please would seem to have NO such points of commonality.

  18. says

    Hey, if someone wants to compare the Rwandan genocide or maybe the Iraq war to the Holocaust, by all means have at it. pooooooo (my kitten typed that and I’m leaving it!!)

    When someone is taking a trivial situation like being criticized for being bigoted assholes, and creating visuals to equate their pissiness with the Holocaust, that’s a whole other thing. How can anyone think that’s acceptable?

  19. crowepps says

    Well, I guess they’re carrying the theme forward — there were echoes of Kristallnacht in the destruction of the shopping mall a few years back.

    “The zealots, known as the Sicarii, “have requested that local clothing and shoe stores not show their wares in their display windows,” according to Rabbi Uri Regev, the founder of Hiddush. “Owners of women’s clothing shops have been warned to only stock items in one color.”

    “Extremists from the community badly damaged a half-built shopping mall because its owners said they would permit men and women to shop together. The mall, its windows broken, never opened.

    And then there’s the ‘censor the books’ part:

    The rally, according to Haaretz, also expressed solidarity with Shmuel Weissfish, a leading activist in the radical group Sikrik, who was sentenced to two years in prison on Sunday for vandalizing a computer store and bookshop the ultra-Orthodox accused of selling non-religious books.

    And harassment by “modesty squads”:

    “Police have also detained a man accused of torching a store in an ultra-Orthodox district that sold what some residents considered “immoral” clothing.

    “In Mea Shearim, a Haredi bastion where streets are sealed off for the Jewish day of rest and satellite dishes are considered a sign of heresy, an electronics store has become the latest target of the morality squads.

    “A young man, sporting the distinctive Haredi sidecurls, beard, black garb and hat, stood outside the store handing out pamphlets.

    “He said the store was threatening the morals of the community by selling MP4 players that would allow buyers to view indecent movies in their homes.

    “This shop corrupts the neighbourhood youth,” the man said. “We will fight until they stop selling these impure devices.”

    “David, a salesman at the store, said he is an Orthodox Jew but believes that the protesters who have picketed outside for weeks “are spreading terror in the neighbourhood”.

    “They burned down our stocks, nothing will stop them,” he said, declining to give his family name for fear of being singled out for attack.

    “In June, a 14-year-old Mea Sharim resident was taken to hospital with burns after an attacker hurled acid at her.

    “Israeli media said that at the time of the attack the girl had been wearing loose-fitting trousers and a short-sleeved shirt, enough to provoke the ire of religious fanatics.

  20. SallyStrange, Spawn of Cthulhu says

    It’s like they are continuing the cycle of abuse, rather than breaking it. On a cultural scale.

  21. Stewart says

    I followed a link to a Haredi blog in Hebrew ( containing many more pictures than we were shown in the general media. The blog from which I followed the link pointed out that the media focused on the sensational Holocaust imagery, which was only one element of the main demonstration, which (and this the pictures do indeed make clear) was mainly about the imprisonment of Shmuel Weisfisch (the bookshop-terroriser). The blog in question points this out not to excuse the imagery, which the author also found shocking and beyond the pale, but to clarify that the utterly radical and long-infamous Neturei Karta (“the ones who meet with Ahmadinejad,” as the blog had it) was in charge of the demo, not the mainstream Haredi community. The blog author’s evidence was this picture (, showing a sign in Arabic that the media neglected in favour of the other images, which he translated as “We demand a Palestinian state – Palestine.”

    This changes nothing about the outrage we justifiedly feel about the images given such play, but I would rather have a clearer and more detailed picture than a screaming headline that obscures all else.

  22. says

    Thanks Stewart –

    I say I say, I have a good idea: why don’t you write a guest post about it, if you’d like to. Or an article for urB&W if you’d rather…or I could post it in both places.

  23. Stewart says

    Oops, took me 17 hours to see that invitation. Must think about it… and find time if I say yes.

  24. interrobang says

    @crowepps: I wouldn’t believe anything written on a blog by Breitbart. He’s not what I would consider any kind of a reliable source, given that he’s the guy who likes to edit tapes of people he doesn’t like until they say things he knows the public won’t like.

    There are justifiably enough things about the Haredi about which one can complain, but Stewart is right — there are Haredi and then there are Haredi.

    By comparison, the Orthodox seem quite liberal and normal, but I get the impression that at least in Israel, where Orthodox is the majority movement and occasionally would-be immigrants need to convert Orthodox in order to go, whether they were Jewish or not to start with, there are the Orthodox and then the Orthodox again, if you take my meaning. (My boss and my one colleague are both technically Orthodox, but they have different standards for what each considers “kosher,” for example.) That said, my boss (the more Orthodox of the two) didn’t hesitate to try to catch me (a woman, whom he’s technically forbidden to touch) when I stumbled while there, so unlike some of them, he hasn’t let his orthodoxy overrun his humanity…which is, I think, the crux of the problem.

  25. crowepps says

    The compilation by Breitbart seemed to reflect scattered stories in the Israeli papers, so I included it. You are absolutely right that this is not representative of the wider Ultra Orthodox group, there famous ‘concentration camp uniforms’ protest was their largest yet and attended by no more than a thousand men. It’s my understanding that the extremist splinter group is called the Sicarii and consists of perhaps only a few hundred adults.

    Ironically, after all the protestations about ‘we have a right to our own customs’ and ‘our women do this voluntarily’ the Ultra Orthodox are simultaneously protesting against a tiny extremist group in which women voluntarily wear capes and veils and rarely appear on the streets at all, and which they consider extremist.

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