After a Channel 2 News report showed a hareidi-religious extremist spitting on a seven-year-old religious Zionist girl as she walked to school, the conflict escalated to a protest in Beit Shemesh last week, but now it appears that attacks are coming from the other direction.
Channel 10 News reported on Tuesday about 10-year-old Bluma Shpitzer, a hareidi-religious girl who was attacked by a young secular man on Monday, as she was on the bus on her way to school. According to a report on Army Radio, the incident occurred on a bus in Jerusalem.
“He began to spit at me and told me that I’m cursed because I’m hareidi,” the girl told Channel 10, adding she did not go to school on Tuesday, fearing the unpleasant incident would repeat itself.
“He said he knew where I get off the bus and said he would come with all his friends to get back at me because I’m hareidi,” Shpitzer said. Her father, Moshe, told Channel 10 that his daughter could not sleep during the night and stayed in his room because she was afraid.
The girl added that when she got off the bus she immediately hid behind a garbage can so the attacker would not be able to find her. Channel 10 reported that police are working to find the attacker whom they claim to have identified. Another hareidi boy said he was hit by secular teens near a bus stop.
Last week’s protest in Beit Shemesh served for many as a venue to express their opinion about the divide between secular Israelis and hareidi-religious Jews.
On Saturday night, hundreds of hareidim demonstrated in Jerusalem against what they said was the unfair treatment of them in the media over the past several weeks.
Dozens of adults and children were wearing yellow stars with the word “Jude” on it – reminiscent of the Nazi era – while several children were wearing striped concentration camp uniforms. Demonstrators responded to criticism of the exaggerated use of Nazi symbols by explaining that the intention was not to compare Israel to Nazi Germany, but to compare the anti-hareidi sentiment and incitement to the anti-Jewish incitement in Germany before the Holocaust.