Religion Magazine

the Religious Secular Women of Bet Shemesh

By Gldmeier @gldmeier
As stated, the courts ruled against Iryat Bet Shemesh and the mayor, Moshe Abutbol, in the case of the "tzniyut" signs. The court declared them illegal and ordered them removed. The city complied, with the mayor sending a large crane, protected by police, to remove most of the signs. Despite them being quickly replaced, the city quickly sent in another, quieter, mission to remove them. Truth is, I am not really sure right now if they are up or down, as I have not passed by those areas in the past few days, but last I heard is that they are down.
The extremists behind the signs are very upset and are looking for ways to fight back. Initially they responded by spraying "tzniyus" graffiti all over their own buildings and neighborhood.
Now they have taken an additional step. They have published a flyer with the names and contact information of the women behind the lawsuit, along with the details of their family members as well (husbands and children) and have called o the public to harass them by telephone.
the religious secular women of Bet Shemesh
In addition, they have put up a a pashkevil on the walls around Bet Shemesh decrying the "secular coercion" in forcing them to remove the signs. There is nothing overly exciting in the signs, beyond calling them secular women, and calling them "misyavnim", despite their being religious, and comparing their neighborhoods to graves of holy men where certain dress modes are understood and enforced without complaint.
the religious secular women of Bet Shemesh
I don't think the pashkevil is the sign of nearly giving up - a last gasp of sorts. It seems too easy and having given up too quickly. They do rely on bullying tactics and usually get their way when people are too intimidated to fight back or not organized enough to fight back over an extended period of time. When the bully is stood up to, the bully often backs down, and that has happened with these extremists as well. I would not be surprised if after a few more attempts, they just quietly back down and move on to other things...
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