Sigh. I am sad to report that depending on where you read your news, the following happenned:

JPost: Haredim assault Christian tourists
A group of German tourists wearing shirts emblazoned with messages of love to the Jewish people were attacked by a mob of angry Haredim in Kikar Shabbat.

Arutz Sheva: Missionaries Accosted in Meah She´arim
A group of missionaries hell bent on converting Haredi Jews to Christianity gave out deceptive looking pamphlets and accosted Orthodox Jews with provocative clothing bearing the slogan “Your God is our God.” they were asked politely to leave and a half hour later, after one of the German missionaries kicked a Jew and the police arrived, two Haredim were arrested unfairly for uh… jaywalking.

So which is it? I’ve seen missionaries venture into the shuk waving Israeli flags and signing songs and giving out Jewishy looking Jesus pamphlets. The last group I saw doing this was indeed accosted by angry people but no riot ensued. But the shuk in Jerusaem is not Kikar Shabbat in the heart of Haredi-Land. So yeah, the perhaps well meaning but definitely stupid Germans probably did get the shit kicked out of them. Does this mean Hareidim are bad? No. It just means that some of them need to chill while others could do with a nice night in jail (Jewish criminals in Canada who I worked for called jail “cheder” – cheder in Yiddish means Torah Study room – but I digress). Assaulting people and setting garbage bins on fire is unnacceptable.

Below is an eyewitness account I got from “ST” about what took place. Read it to get an idea of what happenned. Totally unnacceptable.

My bank is located in Mea Shaarim, in fact, off Kikar Shabbat. I don’t go there often, but I walk through Mea Shaarim and Geula a couple times a week on the way to work from my bus. Today I went to the bank.

On the way there I noticed people wearing orange shirts walking here and there along Sarei Yisrael street progressing toward Kikar Shabbat. Not settlers. To my surprise the Hebrew quoted Ruth’s famous statement about “your people, my people..”. So they were Christians.
At the bank’s entrance a Haredi man was arguing with an orange clad Christian yelling at him (in English) to leave the area. I thought to myself, “maybe some one should call the police, this could get ugly”.
Unfortunately I didn’t follow through with that thought. When I left the bank it was really ugly with mobs of Haredim chasing after Christians with torn up orange shirts and very harried expressions. A couple of these haredi “fighters” had sticks, others threw trash as they chased the Christians away. I called the police.

I also got very angry and I snatched a bag of trash from some Haredi and punched at him. I got clobbered by a stick, but no real harm was done to me.

But what the heck. I might be a right wing settler with a kippa but seeing Haredim act that way real gets my dander up. (I’m like that: once a tried shouting down Rabbi Kahne and called him a racist – till I was dragged away by some border policemen).

And I do not like missionarie and definitely do not hate Haredim. I guess I hate mobs and injustice.

I probably should take a course on anger management and learn to adjust to reality.

Thanks for the heads up ST. Missionaries suck ass, but there is no excuse for causing a Chilul Hashem. Some of the rowdier Hassids ought to channel their anger better by joining Nahal Haredi.

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About the author

ck

Founder and Publisher of Jewlicious, David Abitbol lives in Jerusalem with his wife, newborn daughter and toddler son. Blogging as "ck" he's been blocked on twitter by the right and the left, so he's doing something right.

15 Comments

  • This was interesting. I thought that you’d be pointing out that one of the news sources got the story wrong. In fact, they both left out important details — albeit different ones — for reasons that are obvious when you consider their respective agendas. Kind of sad.

    I guess if we want news from Israel, we’ll have to rely on the real media…

  • I read both articles… can’t find anything else on it yet.
    I’m curious, who got it wrong?

  • We owe them much much more than this. I hope ever day they are all punished for their complete perversion of the word of G-d. If only Jews and Arabs could get along long enough to pay back the 15 or so million deaths we owe them from over the years.

  • Another news source, another story…

    By Jonathan Lis, Haaretz Correspondent

    A group of 50 pro-Israel Christian tourists came under attack Wednesday from some 100 residents of the ultra-Orthodox neighborhood of Mea She’arim in Jerusalem.

    Three of the tourists and a police officer were wounded in the attack. They received treatment at the scene.

    The tourists arrived at Mea She’arim wearing orange T-shirts with the words “Love your neighbor as yourself” printed across them.

    As they neared one of the squares, the local residents apparently identified them as Christians and began to hit them.

  • interesting how all three news sources told the truth, just the wording was different.

    violence is unacceptable, i guess; but how should one deal with missionaries invading ones proudly religious neighborhood?

  • One should graciously and pleasantly tell them, “We’re sorry, but we’re just not interested. Have a nice day, and please don’t wear short sleeved shirts in our neighborhood as it embarrasses us.”

  • Purim Hero: The Haaretz article was written by Jonathan Lis, a Jerusalem based writer. I know this man. His heart is black as the night and he can’t be trusted at all. He regularly assaults old ladies for sport, kicks puppies and frigtens small children by making horrific faces at them.

    Kidding! Yonni is the husband of Mother to be Simonee who comments here on occasion.

  • OK… I thought his name was familiar. Simone is awesome. Her whole family is awesome for that matter. I never actually met Jonathan while I was in Israel. But from what I understand he’s a great guy. Funny that as a result I end up putting more stock into a Haaretz article. (I’m usually not a fan…)

    Though I guess the one really big disagreement is what did the shirts say. All accounts have it differently. Perhaps there was more then one shirt design? Maybe the shirts said different things on different sides, or said more then one statement? But reports all have their own take:

    “wearing shirts emblazoned with messages of love to the Jewish people”

    “clothing bearing the slogan ‘Your God is our God.’”

    “wearing orange shirts”… “To my surprise the Hebrew quoted Ruth’s famous statement about “your people, my people.”

    “wearing orange T-shirts with the words “Love your neighbor as yourself” printed across them.”

    Oh well… any place happen to have a picture?

  • no no no ck, you’ve got it all wrong. There’s actually ANOTHER Jonathan Lis running around these parts who is NOT married to the lovely Simone. Beware the confusion.

    Also, Yoni is Liss not Lis.

  • I have read the accounts and I’m STILL not sure that there was missionary activity – the only connection is the reports of previous missionizing by similarly dressed people in the A7 writeup.

    So I feel kinda manipulated – Initially the media reports (and this post) present this as “Christian supporters of Israel getting mistaken for missionaries”.

    But in fact this could be a “straw that broke the camel’s back” reaction to cumulative “witnessing” activity in Jerusalem.

    And I still don’t feel I know what really happened…

  • Ha! it’s true. Jonathan Lis who writes for Ha’aretz is NOT yoni lisS my husband who no longer works in journalism. The confusion might come in handy should he ever want to work in journalism again though…

  • Though my Yoni liss has been known to assault old women on occasion. like when they cut him in line…

  • I didn’t see anyone passing out any literture nor did they walk as one large group, but rather wandered around in small groups. There may have been something on the front of the shirts: I only looked at the backs and didn’t try talking to any of them. The police arrived only around 10:30 (I called the police at 10:25 so there were probably already on the way before I called).
    I don’t believe that they provoked anyone. I do believe that it doesn’t take much for the haredim to turn into a mob and act like cossacks. Pretty sad. I am disappointed at Arutz 7 if that is what they wrote. I am disappointed at the haredim because missionaries can’t really harm you if you are strong in your own belief’s.

    Shabbat Shalom

  • Edit by TM:

    I thought about keeping your comment up and then I realized it had nothing to do with this conversation. Let us know when you have something worthwhile to say, Mr. Upyours.

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