Thursday, October 21, 2010

Jerusalem cops dress up as Haredim


The leftist daily "Yediot Acharonot" proudly presents the latest police action: 
Some Jerusalem cops would dress up as Haredim, walk through Mea Shearim and thus searching for haredi criminals. My first thought was that the Mea Shearim know each other and wouldn't trust anyone new coming from the outside. The first question Haredim usually ask is about Jewish background. To claim that you belong to Satmar or Toldot Aharon would be impossible. They all know each other and if not, they keep on inquiring about your family and who is related to whom. Furthermore one needs to know Yiddish and has to behave like a Haredi. 

An undercover cop may claim to be a newly Baal Teshuva and all kinds of invented stories but born Haredim don't see any reason informing such a person about their private life. Who is who and what is going on, those kind of information only belong to insiders and unless you haven't lived in Mea Shearim for years, you will never gain too much. The same with me as dressing up as a Palestinian, for instance.

However, four undercover cops dressed up as Haredim have caught one of the fanatic Sikarikim who made an attempt to attack a national religious Knesset politican coming to pray into the neighbourhood. It is not a good thing to attack anyone but I have to say that Mr. Katzele from the National Religious Party is just going wild about the Sikarikim. Not unusual for someone national religious, as many of them don't like any Haredim. And Katzele uses the opporunity. 

I am not justifying the violence of certain Sikarikim but there should be a limit of how the police reacts. Declare war to all inhabitants of Mea Shearim just because a Katzele is freaking out and leading his own private war ?

The Sikariki Avraham Cheshin was caught and I must admit that I have never heard about him before. Cheshin / Chashin, is he Ashkenazi at all ? Now he is under house arrest and waiting for further investigation.

On the other hand, there is definitely some violence going on in Mea Shearim. Just as in every other neighbourhood and society. The only difference may be that the locals of the ultra - Orthodox neighbourhood keep quiet and don't call the (Zionist) police. I am not talking about Sikariki violence but what about child abuse, drugs or domestic violence ? The people involved may ask their Rabbis for advice but none of them would ever inform the police unless a murder happens.

Sending undercover cops is not the best idea and may lead to unnecessary suspicion. When I go for a Tish and ask a question, chassidic group members may already suspect me of being a spy. However, I don't have a proper solution to offer. Sometimes it may be ridiculous sending in undercover cops dressed up as Haredim. And there are other times when it could be useful discovering some cases of secret domestic violence going on in the hood.

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