Being told not to insult women who want to sit in the front of the bus or spit on little girls who dress “immodestly”—this is equivalent to the Nazi extermination of Jews? The Haredi were trying to sell that in a protest over the weekend in which they wore yellow stars and striped pajamas, but no one was buying it.
Avner Shalev, Chairman of the Yad Vashem Directorate said in response: “I condemn the use of Holocaust symbols in a protest of any kind. This is reprehensible. The Holocaust is nothing like what goes on in Israel.”
Though many defended the use of Holocaust images in the protest, other Haredi criticized it. Which is good, because this is exactly the kind of tactic that the Muslim Student Union was properly criticized for employing during Palestinian Awareness Week in 2009, when they put a keffiyah on Anne Frank and exploited her message of hope.
The battle between Haredi and secular Israelis had been below the surface for years, but it has been boiling over for the past couple months. I’m starting to think that Israeli President Shimon Peres may have been correct when he said that Israel is “fighting for the soul of the nation.”