A member of the Haredi community, recently discharged from the IDF, was attacked by an ultra-Orthodox mob of yeshiva students Wednesday night when they surrounded him, subjected him to verbal abuse and threw garbage cans and even stones at him.
The incident, which took place at one of the flashpoints in Bnei Brak where violent protests against military conscription were staged on Tuesday night, was recorded by the victim.
The soldier arrived at the spot wearing civilian clothing, but was recognized by the angry crowds, likely due to the publicizing of his photo by extremist elements within the community spearheading a “shaming campaign” designed to slander Haredim daring to enlist in the IDF.
The soldier was pursued by the group before he managed to lock himself in a room inside a nearby building and call the police.
An eyewitness at the scene recalled the frightening episode. “There were was a killer instinct in their eyes.
They threw anything they could at him. They said ‘you’re a Nazi, even worse than Hitler. You’re a goy’ and wished him dead.”
The witness also described the immense fear that a Haredi soldier is forced to endure in Bnei Brak.
The incident began, the witness added, when the soldier left a building and somebody pointed at him and said: “Look, it is someone from the ‘hunters’ pack,’” a derogatory term applied to Haredim who draft into the IDF.
“Then everyone attacked him and screamed ‘burn in hell.’”
Meanwhile, police are anticipating yet another giant demonstration in which Haredim are planning to block roads during Thursday afternoon rush hour traffic in protest against the continued detention of a yeshiva student who deserted the IDF and was imprisoned in a military prison.
In an effort to forestall the blocking of Route 4 and other central roads in Bnei Brak, riot police will be deployed at key junctions and streets through the traffic-filled hours to ensure undisturbed access.
Overnight, a threatening message was circulated in the extremist circles: “On Thursday, at 3:30 in the afternoon , we will stage a huge protest and terrible protest, the likes of which of which are no longer seen, in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, Modiin Illit, Beitar, Elad, Ashdod. God’s salvation.”
The radical ‘Jerusalem faction’ of the Lithuanian Orthodox sect responsible for the demonstrations is a comparatively small faction in the Haredi sector.
The central streams of the Haredi movement are opposed to the protest.