And why is that? Well, on Friday evening, Naama told her story on the most watched news show in the country. Interviewed by Channel 2’s Shai Gal, Naama told how she was afraid to go to school, just a few hundred meters from her house in Bet Shemesh, because Haredim cursed and spit on her for being dressed “immodestly.”
The report, translated in full below, has sent Israeli public discourse on relations between secular and religious into a frenzy.
try to imagine a woman, a religious woman, who leaves her home
and is cursed by religious extremists on the street,in front of everyone
calling her "slut", cursing and spitting on her
because she is not dressed modestly, in their opinion
and now, think that this person is a 7 year-old girl
7 years old!
this is what is happening now in "Beit Shemesh"
a city surpassed Jerusalem and Bnei Brak
in the matters of women's segregation, and the control of public spacesby ultra-Orthodox extremists
this week, Shay Gal went to the city which has beco me a symbol of religious coercion
to try and understand if this is what the future holds for other cities in Israel
"Beit Shemesh" as an allegory
lots of times they scare me,
scared of what? what will happen?
that I'll get injured or something
who are they? who are these people?
we can understand the story of "Beit Shemesh" throughone moment
through one child
her name is Naama, she is 8 years old
she made "Aliya" with her parents from America to Israel
and what scares her the most
is the path from school to her home
900 feet away
we'll just walk a little bit o.k?
no, no, no
Nam, do you want to walk just a little bit?
and then we'll cross?
they wanted me to dress as ultra-Orthodox
and that I'll give them my school
in Namma's nightmare they are back again
the ultra-Orthodox extremists who spit and cursed
they came from there, the other side of the road
it's unpleasant that they call us names
it's unpleasant that I walk and I'm afraid when one of them passes by me
and I don't know if he will spit on me or will curse me
"whore", "slut", "bastards" "go away from here"
exactly in those words
you are a religious woman, a believer
we can't really say that you are dressed provocatively
but you are saying that in their opinion...
in their opinion I'm not even religious
they're not going to do anything
there are young girls here-Yes
they're being spit on
right! because they are not dressed modestly
that's right, it bothers me, I'm a sane man
what gives you the right to spit on a girl?
so I'll tell you why, to spit on a girl who doesn't behavelike the "Torah" commanded - right.
a 7 year-old girl?!
a 7 year-old girl, yes,a 7 year-old girl, yes,
what's the problem? there are Rabbis
and they give us the strength, how to walk in public
and how a woman should behave when she walks in public
and this is how it should be
so how is it to live in Beit Shemesh?
the story of Beit Shemesh became more relevant this week than ever
suddenly, the whole country is talking aboutpublic segregation of women
about religious coercion
about Tanya Rosenblit who refused to move to the back seat of the bus in Ashdod
in Beit Shemesh, truth be told, no one was surprised
in Beit Shemesh it has existed for a long timeit's not news to us
then what?! in Israel we say: "it's Beit Shemesh, it's not interesting?"
here, 5 years ago, a girl was attacked because she insisted on seating in the front of the bus
but no one put a stop to this and it became a norm
...and what if one of the girls will try to sit in the front?
lord have mercy, she won't try
for her own good she won't do it,she is scared
so what you are telling me is thateven the seculars accepted it upon themselves?
yes. definitely yes
this city has changed faces
in the past, religious people lived side by side with seculars
and there was an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood
in the mid. 90' more and more ultra-Orthodox citizens joined the city
from Neturei Karta, through Vizhnitz Hasidic, Ger Hasidic, Toldos Aharon and more
they lived in closed communities
until at some point they started to expand
this expansion came with clear messages
modesty rules, separation, radicalization
there you go - this is modest, this is how they want it to be
a woman nature is the beauty of covering herself
I want to read you something, listen to modesty regulations:
"women outside of their homes, should be dressed in a manner that does not attract attention" - right!
"women who walk in groups create an obstacle for men"- right
"and should avoid that and walk on side streets"- right
"women sitting in groupsin central locations and entrances to buildings borders on insolence"
"little girls should not be allowed to ride bicycles
"women walking in public should not draw attention"- right!
rigfht, right, because we are healthy people
we are healthy people
- and we are sick people?
yes, you are sick people, yesexcuse my expression
but these regulations are being implemented not just within the community *
the joined spaces of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods and the other neighborhoods
have become conflict rings
come into an ultra-Orthodox house, and you'll seethe respect for the woman of the house
and excuse me, look at the seculars, the woman is almost like a sex object
maybe you are the one who sees her like that?
it's not like I'm looking at her like that,in the ultra-Orthodox community we respect the woman
and in our community we're not?
"Shiksa! Shiksa!"(non-Jewish woman)
there you go look, what is that?!
no, please explain to me
because you came here to show provocation
I came?! she didn't come with me
you came to make provocation and she waited for that,look how she smiles
someone just spit in my face
he is wrong
however, your husband should respect you
and you need to raise the next Jewish generation
and this is your role (the women)
"come in peace"
we accepted them with open arms
there are traditional citizens here
traditional citizens, we love religious people, we want the ultra-Orthodox people
we believe that as long as our shoulders can carry weak people
we'll be happy to accept
and we know that this population is a weak population, however...
now they started
to conquer all the hills and to throw us away
Zion Sultan is a local journalist and a social activist
he is a believer, Yarmulke on his head, and in the last city ellections he supported the first ultra-Orthodox mayor in Beit Shemesh
Moshe Abutbul, from Shas
lots of non-religious citizens voted for him, and didn't expect that
I will present a booklet of Beit Shemesh municipality
and this is the beginning, this is where it all starts...
there isn't one picture of a girl, not of a woman,
here, lots of faces, I'm sure we'll find one woman
no, you won't find. you can search with magnifying glassyou wouldn't find here even one girl
look - in a meeting of the city's council
it's not possible that there are no women,3 women are part of the council
so they set outside of the picture
yes, they set outside of the picture
Sir, do you want my picture?
yes, I like pictures
Sir do you want to talk with us?
I love pictures
great, that's fine
I like to take pictures of people who talk in an anti-Semitic way
I'm happy for every word you said
they put the words in your mouth
your moment will come
your Yarmuike is unnecessary, I'm saying it in front of the kids
your Yarmuike is unnecessary,your Yarmuike is forbidden
I take responsibility for every word I said
his Yarmuike is the Yarmuike that rules
we are witnessing the development of "small Iran"
and this war here is sponsored by "Judaism"
but Judaism is so far from their actions because there is no coercion in the Torah
shame on you for supporting her
how come you are talking to a woman?!how come you are talking to a woman?!
go away from here,take your gear and leave
this will not be the last time that we'll be asked to leave
but that was the most polite request
we moved to the next stop
no one hides anything in Beit Shemesh -for example this sign
with the rust as an evidence to its age *
"in an order, women are being asked to move to the other side of the road...
and certainly do not dawdle in front of the synagogue"
please, I can explain, what do you want to know?
why this sign?
the one that asks women not to walk on this side
there's Paris culture yes?and there's the jewish national culture
why whenever Bibi Netanyahu walks in public,a group of people secure him?
he wants to talk to everybody,he has respect
in the Jewish nation, an ultra-Orthodox woman has respect
it started as a practical and even polite conversation
but soon enough the dialogue has stopped *
I saw in my own eyes, I'm not making this upa woman with short sleeves passed by *
and people spit on her
that is... if a person spit on a woman who didn't come on purposehe is being unfair
these are not our people,it's not us
go away from here!!!go away from here!!!
why aren't you go away from here?!this is not your place, go away!
go away, don't smile, go away, bastards
we don't need to explain ourselves to you
reporter: you don't need to explain yourself?
no! we have Torah and commandments!no rules, no state, nothing!
only Torah and commandments. O.K now go away!today is Hanukkah without Hellenists (converted Jews)
Barukh atah Adonai(Blessed are You, LORD,)
Eloheinu melekh ha‑olam(our God, sovereign of the universe)
the Nissan family lights the first Hanukkah candle in Modiin
they lived for 14 years in Beit Shemesh, and last summer they sold their house
if we could see a future we would have stayed
from our generation, as we arrived as a young couple to Beit Shemesh
I think there is no one left
he still denies the reality
when we filmed them last year
he led the struggle to prevent the closing of his daughter's school which was located in an Orthodox neighborhood
the school stayed open
but let say: successful surgery - dead doctor
the fact that you are here (Modiin) - they won?
yes, it's an escape
instead of staying and fighting...
here - I know that the school will survive
here - at least I feel that this city stands a chance
back to Beit Shemesh
in these days, a new neighborhood is being built here
thousands of housing units which as for now, are intended to ultra-Orthodox
congratulations, but what about us?
don't we deserve this as well?
this conversation is taking place on the ruins of what was supposed to be -the big city mall
here everything stopped
it's something that only can happen in stories, in tales
how this Consolidated minority
overcame almost 65% of the population of Beit Shemesh
and we are to blame
seculars can live everywhere, and the orthodox can't
there is hatred against Orthodox in this country
as if we are another nation
no one hates you
we want to live in peace
we will get in front of you, we'll get ahead of you
I will take out your heart
your heart! you exist thanks to me and to my children
he didn't mean you personally
bastard, do you see?! do you see?!
you weren't here during the 50's - I was here!
I built this city!
and you come here now and break the good silence
whereever you go you are only making it worse for Jews and for the Bible
go away from here!!!
go away from here!!!
Beit Shemesh is on a collision course and everyone around is silent
after all there are a lot of ultra-Orthodox who don't agree with the behavior of the hard core Orthodox
but they don't stop it
what will be in Beit Shemesh?
what will be in Beit Shemesh? an Ultra-Orthodox neighborhood
not just Beit Shemesh, all of Israel will be ultra-Orthodox
and nothing can help you, the country will be at the really end - an ultra-Orthodox country
whether you want it or not
where are the authorities? they are as usual being careful
maybe intentionally and maybe not
you can turn a blind eye on everything
from the separation, the segregation, the signs, the graffiti, the spitting
but this is what eventually happens
a 7 year-old girl shaking just from the thought of walking to school at the end of the street
900 feet away
do you think that the time will come when you'll walk this wayby yourself?
this story was broadcasted as part of "Aulpan Shishi" Channel 2 News
English Subtitles created with Subber.com
for more on this subject and other stories go to 972mag.com
Since the report, the Israeli Prime Minister has spoken about it, the Haredi Beit Shemesh Mayor has condemned it, Haredim in Beit Shemesh attacked a Channel 2 news team who came to town again on Sunday, and rioted when municipal workers took down signs calling for segregation between men and women. They later put the signs back up. Today, the city announced plans to put up 400 security cameras.
But guess who hasn’t said anything? That’s right: the rabbis. Apparently, they don’t care. And why should they? It’s not like they recognize the state or anything. And guess what else: They don’t have to. Because the invalid who spoke from inside his car at the end of the item is actually right. Out of all the ignorance he spewed, he managed to say one correct thing at the end:
“All of Israel will be Haredi, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
He’s right. The numbers speak for themselves.
Actually, it makes the whole two-state, one-state discussion seem like a waste of time. What does it matter when in a few decades between the river and the sea, secular people of any nationality will be a small minority.
You’ll just have to chose your theocracy.