Authorities crack down on 'Modesty Police' in Jerusalem

Police arrest senior members of vigilante 'modesty watch' in capital.

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David Rosenberg,

Member of haredi community under arrest
Member of haredi community under arrest
Flash90

Authorities in Jerusalem arrested two men Monday morning in an apparent crackdown on a vigilante “modesty squad” which has operated for years in the capital’s haredi neighborhoods.

The two men, whose names have not yet been released for publication, are both senior figures within the Committee for the Purity of the Camp. Formerly known as the Modesty Patrol, the Committee is a peripheral organization seeking to enforce stricter standards of modest behavior and dress on the larger haredi population through intimidation and harassment.

Both suspects are expected to be brought before a judge today, a source with knowledge of the case told BeHadrei Haredim. The basis for the arrests have yet to be disclosed.

Despite efforts by police, leaders of the Committee and its forerunner have hitherto eluded punishment, even as lesser figures within the group have been convicted.

In 2009, a 29-year old man with ties to the Modesty Patrol was convicted for his role in a violent assault on a women living in a predominantly haredi neighborhood in the capital. Charges were dropped, however, against the man’s co-conspirators and the ringleaders of the organization, due to a lack of evidence.