Wash. Post resorts to guilt by association to tar an Israeli religious community

Leo Rennert
In its Feb. 12 edition, the Washington Post carries an article about suburban Montgomery County putting plans on hold for a sister-city agreement with Beit Shemesh in Israel because of several incidents there involving attacks by ultra-Orthodox fanatical extremists on Israeli women ("Montgomery delays Israeli sister-city pact - News reports of ultra-Orthodox violence worry activists, county" by Victor Zapana, page C1)

The incidents were utterly despicable --- a young girl was spat on because her clothing was deemed insufficiently modest; a woman was pelted with stones for daring to assert her rights in public places.  And there have been other such incidents in Beit Shemesh.

The Post's article, however, went way overboard by indicting ultra-Orthodox Jews in general for such outrages when they were actually perpetrated by a small minority of ultra-Orthodox fanatical extremists known as the Sicarii.

Here's how the Post smeared all ultra-Orthodox Jews in Beit Shemesh:

"In recent months, news reports of the city's ultra-Orthodox population skirmishing with Israeli police and assaulting some Israeli women have made their way around the world and into living rooms around Washington.

"Israeli cabinet ministers and moderate Orthodox leaders denounced the actions of the ultra-Orthodox."

Wrong.  This is not a conflict between ultra-Orthodox and moderate Orthodox Jews, as the Post would have readers believe.  It's a conflict involving a few hundred violence-bent zealots among the ultra-Orthodox against the rest of Israeli society, including many ultra-Orthodox Jews and their rabbis who denounced the Sicarii.

Israel's secular press and liberal politicians exploited the incidents by launching attacks against Israel's religious sector.  In turn, foreign media, including the Washington Post, jumped on the bandwagon to take a similar poke at ultra-Orthodox Jews in general.

In his article, Zapana asserts that he relied on "news reports" emanating from Israel.  No doubt.  The liberal media in Israel are just as ultra-secular in their outlook as U.S. mainstream media.  Even to the point of resorting to guilt by association.

Senator Joseph McCarthy meet the Washington Post.

In its Feb. 12 edition, the Washington Post carries an article about suburban Montgomery County putting plans on hold for a sister-city agreement with Beit Shemesh in Israel because of several incidents there involving attacks by ultra-Orthodox fanatical extremists on Israeli women ("Montgomery delays Israeli sister-city pact - News reports of ultra-Orthodox violence worry activists, county" by Victor Zapana, page C1)

The incidents were utterly despicable --- a young girl was spat on because her clothing was deemed insufficiently modest; a woman was pelted with stones for daring to assert her rights in public places.  And there have been other such incidents in Beit Shemesh.

The Post's article, however, went way overboard by indicting ultra-Orthodox Jews in general for such outrages when they were actually perpetrated by a small minority of ultra-Orthodox fanatical extremists known as the Sicarii.

Here's how the Post smeared all ultra-Orthodox Jews in Beit Shemesh:

"In recent months, news reports of the city's ultra-Orthodox population skirmishing with Israeli police and assaulting some Israeli women have made their way around the world and into living rooms around Washington.

"Israeli cabinet ministers and moderate Orthodox leaders denounced the actions of the ultra-Orthodox."

Wrong.  This is not a conflict between ultra-Orthodox and moderate Orthodox Jews, as the Post would have readers believe.  It's a conflict involving a few hundred violence-bent zealots among the ultra-Orthodox against the rest of Israeli society, including many ultra-Orthodox Jews and their rabbis who denounced the Sicarii.

Israel's secular press and liberal politicians exploited the incidents by launching attacks against Israel's religious sector.  In turn, foreign media, including the Washington Post, jumped on the bandwagon to take a similar poke at ultra-Orthodox Jews in general.

In his article, Zapana asserts that he relied on "news reports" emanating from Israel.  No doubt.  The liberal media in Israel are just as ultra-secular in their outlook as U.S. mainstream media.  Even to the point of resorting to guilt by association.

Senator Joseph McCarthy meet the Washington Post.