August 9, 2010 | 1:09 pm
Posted by Bob Goldfarb
Today’s Independent newspaper in London reports that a group called “the Guardians of Sanctity and Education feared that some temptations would simply prove too much, and deployed an army of snoopers to photograph members of the ultra-orthodox community, also known as Haredi, at a mixed-sex pop concert.”
Here’s how their reporter, Catrina Stewat, describes that community:
Just last week the Financial Times offered a similar view of haredim as exotics from a lost era:
The Independent’s account of modesty enforcers shares the FT’s view of haredim as living anachronisms—which is what many Christian sects used to teach about Jews generally. Another Christian caricature cast Jews as Pharisees, splitting hairs over the letter of the law rather than seeking its spirit; banning miniskirts and Saturday barbecues in the name of morality falls neatly into that latter narrative. That these old stereotypes are still casually perpetuated by respected newspapers reveals, albeit unintentionally, the limits of the widely professed British multiculturalism.
Bob Goldfarb is president of the Center for Jewish Culture and Creativity in Los Angeles and Jerusalem. He also blogs at eJewishPhilanthropy.com, and Tweets about Jews, the arts, and Jewish culture at twitter.com/bobgoldfarb.
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