Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The haredi bus driver


I am just coming back from my daytrip to Jerusalem. There wasn't so much to do in the capital today, as we had (and still have) ongoing heavy rain showers all over the country. The friend I was visiting suggested that we buy a ticket for the new tram and just take a longer ride to one of the final stops. So, we went from downtown Jerusalem to the outskirt Pisgat Ze'ev. 

The Pisgat Ze'ev neighbourhood was built about 15 - 20 years ago for the wave of new Russian immigrants streaming into Israel. However, it turned out that more Israelis were moving into the new neighbourhood than Russians. Surrounded by Arab neighbourhoods like Shuafat and Beit Chaninah, the Egged bus line often had trouble traveling. The bus was stoned by Arabs many times until Jerusalem's Municipality built a special tunnel for the bus. Now the new tram is directly going through Shuafat and Beit Chaninah until Pisgat Ze'ev. 

We had an interesting ride and I took quite a few pictures I am going to publish within the next days. 

On my way back to Tel Aviv, we had a haredi bus driver. In fact, I haven't seen too many haredi bus drivers driving bus no. 405 from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv's Central Bus Station. Tonight it happened. We were only very few people on the bus and one passenger started asking the driver about the latest leftist attacks on Haredim and Mehadrin buses. Only yesterday, a whole group of leftists again tried to strom into a Mehadrin bus but the bus driver refused letting them in. It is only them causing trouble but, in the end, even those leftists admitted, that the Mehadrin bus was not that bad at all and they left. 

Our bus driver reacted very emotional and stated that this has been going on for more than a week now. Israel's left trying to storm into haredi buses or yell at haredi bus drivers running other bus lines than the Egged Mehadrin buses. "They (the left) is receiving funding from abroad in order to cause trouble in Israel. All those attacks are just disgusting and the media is not ashamed of itself. Cutting Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's statements out of context and publishing everything the way they (the media) want". 

People on the bus agreed and, fortunately, we didn't have any of those crazy haredi - hating leftists on the bus looking for trouble.

Local Egged buses in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

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