Wednesday, July 22, 2009

"They're taking control"

Their population is exploding--and they are bringing violence into peaceful neighbourhoods.

A day will come when there won't be any secular officials in office in the entire country, they boast. A thoughtful Jewish writer worries: "In these neighbourhoods, where I was born and grew up, the battle has already been won. Zionism has been pushed out of here, as if it had never been."

Violent protest is the norm. Department stores have been forced to cover up mannequins. Billboards in their areas may not show images of women. If women are not
covered sufficiently, they're screamed at and called "whores." In some places they literally have to sit at the back of the bus. The newcomers are moving into neighbourhoods in droves, insisting on instructing their children in their own language in their own religious schools.

Their average family has eight children. The pressure on local housing capacity has been enormous. Their fed-up neighbours say they are moving out. Graffiti have been appearing with caricatures of the newcomers, and the phrase "Not among us."

"We worked hard to make this community a good place for families," said a resident. "Now they come in and tell us how to live."

"And now, they are challenging the state wherever they can," says an academic. Recent religious street riots mean "[t]hey're serving notice that things better start going the way they want them to, or else there'll be trouble." In fact, says another, the tendency to riot is part of their way of life.

But ours is a religion of peace, says a member of the group. We just want to bring our people closer to their religious roots.

Some have had enough of them, though:

"They're imposing their values on us. That's what makes it so hard to take. Believe me, if they come in here, we'll set the place alight. We'll use their own tactics against them ... and they'll be the ones to move out.

"This is a war."

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