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Israel's Taliban: Ultra-Orthodox Jewish "Modesty Patrols"

 
 
Reply Sun 5 Oct, 2008 09:51 am
Jewish "Modesty Patrols" Sow Fear In Israel

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In Israel's ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, where the rule of law sometimes takes a back seat to the rule of God, zealots are on a campaign to stamp out behavior they consider unchaste. They hurl stones at women for such "sins" as wearing a red blouse, and attack stores selling devices that can access the Internet.

In recent weeks, self-styled "modesty patrols" have been accused of breaking into the apartment of a Jerusalem woman and beating her for allegedly consorting with men. They have torched a store that sells MP4 players, fearing devout Jews would use them to download pornography.

Religious vigilantes operate in a society that has granted their community influence well beyond its numbers _ partly out of a commitment to revive the great centers of Jewish scholarship destroyed in the Holocaust, but also because the Orthodox are perennial king-makers in Israeli coalition politics.
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