Even normal Charedim who live in secular districts feel uneasy due to the volume of anti-charedi vitriol in Israel’s secular media in the wake of the current government’s policies.
Verbal abuse and vituperation have increased recently, and some of these events have been documented.
In the largely secular town of Hod Hasharon, a chareidi passenger received criticism from another passenger for skipping out on army service.
He asked how the woman had concluded that he had not been in the IDF, and she replied that he was dressed in chareidi garb. She had no idea she was speaking with Captain Yonatan Hirsch, an IDF officer, and Belzer chassid, a lawyer.
Hirsch informed the woman that she should be ashamed of herself since she was degrading herself with her activities despite her lack of remorse. The woman afterward talked to the media and declared, “I have antipathy to chareidim, they have ten children, and I’m afraid of them; they have no place here.”
In response to the video, Shas leader Aryeh Deri said, “We’re not embarrassed by our kippah or peos or our identity. We take great pride in being able to live in Israel as Jews. Those who encourage ought to feel guilty.
The leader of the National Union, Benny Gantz, called the video “painful” and noted that “it doesn’t matter where a person served, if he served, or who he prays to we are all brothers. I’m hoping that she’ll find a way to say sorry and that he’ll be able to forgive her.
She doesn’t care that the chareidi didn’t serve in the army, according to journalist Yishai Cohen: “She cares that he’s wearing a kippah; that’s the whole story.”