Haredi man arrested for defacing Rachel Azaria's campaign signs

The female candidate for mayor of Jerusalem has had campaign billboards repeatedly vandalized.

Tzvi Lev,

Israel Police and haredim (illustration)
Israel Police and haredim (illustration)
Yonatan Sindel/ Flash 90

Undercover policemen arrested a haredi man for defacing the campaign ads for Jerusalem mayoral candidate Rachel Azaria.

The man, 19, was detained following an operation by plainclothes cops. He will be brought before a judge on Thursday and is the sixth haredi to be arrested since the wave of vandalism commenced on Sunday.

Azaria, who is the only female running for Jerusalem's top job, had run a slew of ads calling for coexistence. The ads had also featured a picture of Azaria, which enraged radical haredim who consider photos of women a breach of their strict modesty code.

Following the vandalism, Azaria said that she believed that the haredim that defaced her advertisements did not represent Jerusalem."The violent attempt to harm the election campaign does not reflect Jerusalem, the Jerusalemites, or the haredi public," she said.

"This is an extreme, marginal group. In Jerusalem, we know how to live together in mutual respect, even if it is not always easy. The extremists cannot decide for us."

Azaria has long had a thorny relationship with Jerusalem's haredi community dating back to when she was a member of the municipality. In 2011, Mayor Nir Barkat took away her portfolios after she petitioned the High Court of Justice against gender segregation in the Meah Shearim neighborhood and Azaria has repeatedly faced off against bus companies who have refused to run ads featuring women


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