Dozens of extremist anti-Zionist protesters from the Satmar Hassidic sect in London on Wednesday denounced Israel for confronting a disturbing trend of violence among fringe-elements of the Hareidi religious public.
Police in Jerusalem have moved to crack down on a mob dubbed the Sicarii, or the “Mea Shearim mafia.” The mob is a radical fringe hareidi-religious group, denounced by the rest of the hareidi community, which has been accused of conducting campaigns of harassment, vandalism, and assault.
On Tuesday, a large number of police officers entered Mea Shearim and arrested one of the gang’s leaders over alleged attempted extortion of the owners of the Or HaChaim bookstore. The detainee was named by Kikar Shabat as Mottele Hirsch, a supporter of the extreme anti-Zionist Neturei Karta sect.
A search of his home and personal computer revealed fliers condemning Or HaChaim and various hareidi rabbis, among them Rabbi Shteitman.
A similar group of extremists in Beit Shemesh created an international media debacle for the Jewish people in December 2011 when members of the group bullied and spat on Na'ama Margolese, 8, for her supposedly insufficiently modest dress despite the fact that she comes from a religious family.
Violent clashes between police and members of the group erupted when police moved to arrest those responsible.
An attack on a third-grade American immigrant boy in Beit Shemesh last week, as well as the smashing of the windows of a 27-year old woman while she was still inside the vehicle, has led to arrests of extremists in Beit Shemesh.
The violence has been roundly condemned by Hareidi, mainstream Orthodox, religious Zionist, and secular leaders in Israel.
Nonetheless, the protesters in London sought to use police attempts to arrest those behind the violence in Beit Shemesh and Jerusalem as an assault on Judaism and the Torah.
"Israel boasts of being a democracy. Is it indeed a democracy when its police use brutal and intimidating tactics against orthodox Jewish people in order to silence and scare them from raising their voices in protest? This is making a mockery of democracy," London’s Rabbi Yaakov Marmorstein of Congregation Ohel Moshe and Rosh HaKollel of Bnai Yissoschor said.
"This demonstration is for the sake of our Holy Torah and our pure faith. The leaders of the Zionist heretic regime cannot claim that they represent the Jews or that they represent their religion whilst they themselves deny all of Judaism's basic principles and establish a state for the purpose of eradicating the Jewish religion.
"Torah Jewry and our faith have waged war against Zionism since its inception. Torah Jews will never recognize Zionist sovereignty over the entire land. Let it be known we have no part in the Zionist state whose entire existence is in contradiction to our holy Torah," he said.