Up the down staircase

There’s always another step to go up the staircase of disgust –

The latest step is the Haredi leadership putting yellow stars on children at a protest against “exclusion” (by which is meant, not being permitted to exclude women).

Over a thousand ultra-Orthodox men assembled Saturday night in Jerusalem’s Kikar Hashabbat (Sabbath Square), in protest of what they termed the exclusion of Haredim, a response to the recent outrage over the exclusion of women in Beit Shemesh and elsewhere.

You see what they did there? Men who define inclusion as men’s right to exclude and bully women are protesting their “exclusion” by using Holocaust imagery, as if being genocided were identical to being prevented from excluding and bullying women.

Some of the protesters were wearing yellow badges; others were dressed in prisoner uniforms symbolizing the prosecution of Jews by the Nazi regime during World War II. The protesters were trying to express by way of analogy that they are being persecuted for their Jewish way of life by Israel’s secular majority.

That’s a biiiiiiiiiiig step up that staircase.

Update – In case that first photo seems naggingly familiar – it is.




  1. Stewart says

    It’s the same as Christians in other countries complaining that laws that don’t let them discriminate against certain types of people are an infringement of their religious freedom – but on a scale of tastelessness that leaves the others trailing in the dust.

  2. Stewart says

    I first saw this in “Die Welt” and though the comments there are varied (and include complaints about censorship – “Die Welt” is pro-Israel), here are my translations of three that make it clear what one of the most obvious side-effects is:

    “Well, the Jews should know their own people best.”

    “Well, maybe it’ll now be believed, as several Jews are claiming it themselves…”

    “Now they’re tearing at their own flesh! How nice, does someone have popcorn?”

  3. says

    I read some of the comments.
    If those were the ones that got through, I’m wondering what those that were claimed to have been censored were like.
    (and I don’t want to know, I enjoy my dinner inside of me).
    It’s especially telling that the second one you quoted completely misses what the article was about and just beats the bush of “I’m not an antisemite, but…”
    Which jews are actually claiming his truth? I couldn’t tell from his comment. The Haredim? Or the rest of Israel that seems to condem the protest?
    In short: a total non-sequitur, and excuse to post one of the usual “I’m not allowed to criticise Israel, buu-huuu” antisemitic rants.

  4. says

    How disgusting that is. Pro-Israelis justifiably complain about the pro-Palestinian movement calling Israel a Nazi state, Gaza the Warsaw ghetto etc. Whatever the policies of Israel, that is stupid and ugly hyperbole. But this really is repulsive. The dramatic self-pity of the religious when they can’t get their way bullying other people is nauseating. To use their foul analogy, I think it was Himmler who said his SS needed rest and sympathy because they found genocide so exhausting and it really took it out of them.

  5. Stewart says

    I think the short answer to “which Jews are claiming… ?” is the Haredim. The commenter was ignoring the way the Haredim have been behaving, the official reactions to them and the outrageousness of the comparison they are making. Only one thing here was of interest: Jews calling Jews Nazis. An excuse to say “Voila, what I’ve been saying all along. And this time nobody can call the accusers antisemitic [which the commenter probably experiences a lot] because they’re Jews themselves.”

  6. says

    Yes, that was my guess, too.
    Knee-jerk reaction without paying any attention to what’s actually happened.

    I hate discussing Israeli politics in Germany.
    You’re always caught on all sides:
    There are those who will cheer on any criticism of Israel and will claim that whenever you say “wait, stop, that’s not true”, that you’re just playing “German guilt” and will absolve Israel of everything.
    And on the other side there are those who’ll shout down every legitimate criticism with “you’re an anti-semite”
    [/personal rant]

  7. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    The Haredim are godwinning their protest about having to share streets and buses with women. Automatic fail.

  8. says

    That first picture is particularly horrendous, I think. It’s too similar to that iconic one of the emaciated little boy in (I think) Warsaw. What a thing to evoke in such a cause.

  9. Stewart says

    That is an out-and-out attempt to replicate that picture. There isn’t a great deal further they could have gone. You realise that part of the reason for the protest is the jail sentence received by an extremist who was conducting a reign of terror against a religious book shopshop because it stocked religious titles in the English language?

  10. says

    Someone needs to introduce the Haredim to the ‘Godwin’ concept. Really. Also to the notion that sickmaking exploitation of human suffering on that scale never looks good.

  11. Irene Delse says

    My heart’s breaking for the poor boy in the 1st pic, force to take part into this disgusting pantomime…

    @ Rosie:

    To use their foul analogy, I think it was Himmler who said his SS needed rest and sympathy because they found genocide so exhausting and it really took it out of them.

    Wouldn’t surprise me. Himmler was the guy who once fainted while supervising the gunning down of assembled Jewish prisoners, on the Eastern front, but still went on to rationalise the policy of extermination on the grounds that it was “for the good of the German people”. Total disconnect between basic humanity and all-pervading ideology.

  12. Stewart says

    Just to nip in the bud anything speculative about the Himmler speech, here is one translation of the relevant passage (from here: http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/h/himmler-heinrich/posen/oct-04-43/ausrottung-transl-nizkor.html):

    “Most of you will know what it means when 100 bodies lie together, when 500 are there or when there are 1000. And … to have seen this through and — with the exception of human weakness — to have remained decent, has made us hard and is a page of glory never mentioned and never to be mentioned.”

  13. Stewart says

    Arendt in the end credits Himmler for having a gift for reversing situations, so that the killer of unarmed people is the one requiring sympathy. (Ring any bells? WLC on the poor “Israeli” soldiers ordered to commit genocide by god in the Old Testament.)

    The Haredim are pulling a different kind of reversal here. The most shocking thought that goes through my head is that some of those demonstrating dressed as Holocaust-era oppressed Jews may be descendants of actual Nazi victims. If it’s not too much of an oxymoron to call this “trivialising on a grand scale…”

  14. Stewart says

    Took a closer look at the banner behind the men in the second picture in this post: “Reb Shmuel [presumably refers to the man going to jail for terrorising the bookshop], sanctifier of the heavenly name, we are with you!”

  15. Stewart says

    Interesting how many different ways there are to deploy that tactic – and who the ones are who realise they need to.

  16. says

    Would these ultra-Orthodox guys like some cheese with their whine?

    Playing the victim card disingenuously is ridiculous, whether fundamentalist Jews or fundamentalist Christians do so. To boot, the Holocaust imagery is disrespectful to ACTUAL survivors of the Holocaust. These misogynists need to abandon their self-pity AND their sexism.

  17. Ken Pidcock says

    Man, talk about your delusions. These despicable bigots actually thought that they would elicit Israeli sympathy to their demands for privilege through such depravity? The confirmation that fundamentalists can be so fucking stupid is heartening, actually.

  18. Bruce Gorton says

    If I remember correctly there were a few features over the last year or so about how the Haredim population doesn’t actually work – they instead live off a stipend Israel extends to people who want to study the Torah.

    So why doesn’t Israel just get rid of that already politically unpopular stipend, and starve the stupid fuckers?

  19. says

    @Bruce Gorton — As much as I agree with the sentiment, uh… it’d be inhumane to starve them, and could turn them into martyrs.

  20. Bruce Gorton says


    There is no reason they can’t get jobs – except that they refuse to. If they want to whinge about state “exclusion” then they shouldn’t get to live off of it.

  21. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    There is no reason they can’t get jobs – except that they refuse to

    Once upon a time, i was studying Judaism with the intent to convert (obvs, pre-atheism days).

    one of the very first things to begin turning me away from that religion specifically and all religion in general was a rabbi’s oddly proud announcement that orthodox women were “allowed” to work outside the home to support their families . . . so that the men could sit around all day learning torah. Which was more important, apparently, then feeding their families.

  22. mirax says

    What is interesting is that the protests are organised by the Sikrikim/ Sicarii sect (the original zealots who started murdering fellow jews and were ultimately responsible for the dispersion of the jewish people, I believe).These assholes are the chief trouble makers in Beit Shemesh too. They are resolutely anti-zionists and affiliated to the Neturei Karta assholes who fawned over Ahmedinedjad even during the period he organised his antisemitic cartoon competition mocking the holocaust. They have a history and it is amazing that sane israelis let these lot get away with so much. They should all be packed off to Iran or Saudi arabia which appear better fit for people like them.

  23. says

    Thanks for the link re Himmler, Stewart. It wasn’t a good analogy. What brought it to mind was the gross and bizarre self-pity from those engaged in evil. Of course these dudes’ evil is on a totally different scale. However, the self-righteous cruelty of the religious and the ideological never fails to astound me.

  24. Stewart says


    As analogy, you have a point. But look who godwinned first in this case. And I don’t think it’s wrong under such circumstances to remember what kind of real suffering is being appropriated in such a frivolous way.

  25. says

    Same old same old:

    1) “What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties” brings to mind the recent post here about the Jewish mother who proclaimed *her* pain and anguish about the circumcision of her son.

    2) An (un-)holy alliance of Catholics, fundagelicals, Mormons, Muslims and Jews has claimed that the Ontario (Canada) government’s recent anti-bullying initiative, which forces (publicly funded) Catholic schools to permit gay-straight alliance clubs, is unfair because it amounts to bullying of the religious who are no longer able to maintain their faith-based bigotry in public institutions.

  26. Anat says

    Regarding the involvement of the Haredi sector in the economy, it is tied to their (non)-involvement in the military. See Torato Omanuto and Tal committee. Under the old arrangement, until a Haredi man got completely exempt from military duty, whether due to age or number of children, he was supposed to be engaged in Torah study for a stipend. If he left the yeshiva for a job he had to serve in the military. Tal Law should allow them to enter the workforce at 24 or 25.

  27. kraut says

    I think the word once was: we do not respect the religious belief, but we still can respect the person holding such beliefs.

    Sorry, no more respect from me for any of those religious arseholes who even here in Canada with the sanctions of a semi funda-mental-ist government try to push their agenda.
    The religious assorted idiots have overstayed their welcome if they push their agenda into the faces of us non religious.
    Time to fight back with gloves off, and call them the treasonous society destroying vermin they are.

  28. yoav says

    @Bruce Gorton
    That’s a by product of the basic fuckedupness of the Israeli parliamentary system that gives a small party who is willing to go with the highest bidder an ability to blackmail the coalition.

    Here is fundi politician Eli Yishai with complete lack of self awareness saying out loud what every one already knew.


    When speaking to mainstream media, Yishai said he opposed the split because he did not want to divide the Jewish people, but when addressing haredi listeners, his reasoning was more candid.

    “When I became interior minister in 2003, there had been a recommendation to split the city and already then, I said it was not the right thing to do,” Yishai told the radio station Kol Barama.

    “It would create a haredi city lacking income, property tax and other taxes, with no industry. It’s not the right thing to do.”

  29. Art says

    Geee … seems a pretty huge overreaction to being told you can’t spit on girls wearing skirts that show a little leg or tell women to go to the back of the bus. Sure … that is exactly like Jewish families being shoved into cattle cars. Sounds like these people are taking lessons in rhetoric from Glen Beck. Someone send them a jar of Vapo-Rub so they can cry me a river. Been a while since my last canoe trip.

  30. says

    Woah this blog is fantastic i love studying your posts. Stay up the good work! You know, a lot of individuals are looking around for this information, you can help them greatly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *