Friday, July 17, 2009

A burning issue

This Bench of the Week is ugly, but it is representative of the week that was, here in Jerusalem.
The wheels, handle and frame, and the green melted plastic sticking to the bench are the remains of a big trash bin.
The torching of garbage bins and garbage in some squares and main streets of Jerusalem's religious neighborhoods is a favorite way of protesting for some.
Last week the haredim (ultra-Orthodox Jews) were protesting the Mayor's permitting that an underground parking lot near the Old City would remain open on the Sabbath day.
This week the extreme sects (like the anti-Zionist Toldot Aharon which does not recognize the State of Israel) were rioting for another cause. They wanted one of theirs, a pregnant mother arrested for suspected child abuse, to be released from jail.
It is all very complicated and emotionally charged. But I think the heat of summer and the boredom for some youth out on vacation from school is part of the problem that "fans the fire."
If you really want to try to understand, here are various articles:
situation as of Friday late afternoon
a Jerusalem Post background article
Haaretz news video and article
an editorial against "collective punishment" of haredim
UPDATE: The woman has been released from jail to house arrest, in the house of a neighborhood (Mea Shearim) rabbi's family. Let's hope this will end the burning and smashing and stone throwing.
Let us have Shabbat shalom, please God.


RuneE said...

Extremists in any shape or form or for any reason whatsoever do not get my support. I believe "all men are created equal" - and try to live by it.

PS And when they destroy innocent benches too... :-)

JM said...

I see you had a complicated week out there! Let's hope common sense will prevail.

behcet said...

thank you for your comments

Anonymous said...

It seems like the heat brings out the passions. But not trash receptacles! you know how fond I am of them.

Kay said...

This is very disappointing to see, Dina. I hope things calm down in your area of the world. Now!

Cloudia said...

Such a complex society!
Get 2 Jews together: 4 opinions.

We get brush fires this time of year - bored youth.

Actually, i wish they were aware enough to protest instead..
Shabat Shalom & Aloha, Dina

Comfort Spiral

Petrea said...

Ha ha, Cloudia! Opinions are fine, disagreement and peaceful protest are all good, I think. It's vandalism and violence I can't condone. It never brings people around to your side, either.

Danton said...

Hot summer fuels hot heads.

Yaelian said...

I too hope the situation will calm, althought it seems that it takes so little to light that garbage fire again. When people are so out of touch with the real world,they can be made to believe almost anything and then this was the result...

Hilda said...

The myriad and complicated cultural and religious issues that seethe in Jerusalem is mind-boggling. Am I too naive to want to ask everyone, "Can't we just try to get along?" :'(

Malyss said...

Hi, Dina
Thank you for your visit , and also thank you to allow me to add a new language on my sidebar about benches.
I'm discovering your blog and find interesting to see your inside view about your country.It will be a change for me, I don't always like or trust the "journalistic" view which is the only one we have..
About the bench's picture of the day, it goes to show that everything can have a political use, even a simple thing like a bench. And, if you allow me a joke, it would be a job for the International M.L.B.(*) I created on my blog!..
Have a nice day!
(*)Movement for Liberation of Benches

Your EG Tour Guide said...

That's an interesting way to protest!

Extremism exists everywhere, doesn't it? Even in a "reasonable" country like Canada. I have to rush off...but will come back to check the links you have in your post to see if I can at least understand a little what the fuss is all about.

Gretchen said...

So sad to read that. I really don't think that God, in whatever form a person believes, truly expects this.

FA said...

It always saddens me to hear of the strife in this sacred and beautiful place. However, it's good fodder for prayer. Thanks for keeping us informed.

Pietro said...

Too many hard problems, Dina.
I always hope that your area may be very soon at peace and without any trouble.

Reader Wil said...

As I remarked before: this is done every weekend somewhere in my country. Burning trash bins was the favourite pastime of drunken teenagers,last year until an accident happened.
Thanks for your visit and comment on "my" castles. Yes the dogs do work sometimes. You suggested that I should create a blog about castles, but apart from two or three Dutch castles I've run out of castles!

Louis la Vache said...

Indeed, Shabbat shalom is needed!
«Louis» is saddened to read of this trouble.

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

A different world you live in from me, for sure.

Ackworth born said...

when vandals try to justify their actions by aligning themselves with a "cause" it makes it difficult for both peacemakers and genuine protestors.

PERBS said...

I think that is a bench that I will never forget. . . I am so glad you posted it and the story behind this sadness. Thanks for dropping by my bench blog.