Where Are the Rubber Bullets Now?
Some Haredim in Jerusalem continue their campaign of overcoming the humiliation after a secular candidate was elected mayor of the Holy City. For months this summer, they were trying to reassert their political power over the capital by rioting against the opening of the Karta car park on Shabbat.
They lost that battle, but they definitely haven’t given up the war.
Last week, they found a new target for their rage and frustration: Intel. The high-tech company is supposed to open their new plant in Jerusalem today, and ahead of that event it became known that the plant would operate also on Shabbat. In protest, thousands of Haredim marched on the plant yesterday, throwing stones at it, attacking bystanders and trying to force their way into the premises.
This time they have turned their rage against a private company. Therefore any claims that they are merely acting to safeguard the status quo agreement, as could be argued in the case of operating public facilities such as the Karta car park, are irrelevant in this case. Instead, the intent to force the city to submission to a Haredi way of life becomes patently clear. To achieve this deeply undemocratic goal, these thugs do not shy away from violence and mafia methods.
The risk that other companies will choose not to invest in facilities in Jerusalem is obvious. Thus, the city will lose out on even more tax revenue and sorely needed job opportunities for the impoverished population. But what do the rioters care? They probably don’t pay taxes anyway, and if there won’t be any jobs available to them, they’ll have an excellent excuse why not to work either.