Utne Blogs > Mind and Body

Modesty Vigilantes Terrorize Jerusalem

by Jake Mohan 


Tags: Spirituality, religion, Judaism, Orthodox Judaism, Hasidim, Israel, Jerusalem, Breitbart, Heeb,

While Hasidic Jews in Brooklyn clash with their neighbors over traffic codes, ultra-Orthodox groups in Jerusalem are taking things to extremes, violently lashing out at people whose behavior contradicts their moral code.

Bands of vigilantes dubbing themselves “modesty squads” have been accused of attacking citizens who violate the groups' ultra-Orthodoxy, Breitbart reports. A divorced woman alleges that one such squad beat her, tied her down, and threatened to kill her if she did not move out of their conservative neighborhood. A clothing store selling “indecent” clothing was recently torched, with one person taken into custody. One group has protested outside an electronics store that sell satellite dishes, MP4 video players, and other devices that transmit “immoral” entertainment. Another squad is accused of throwing acid on a 14-year-old girl because she was wearing a short-sleeved shirt.

Heeb HQ calls the groups "Joogs," after the sadistic gang of Droogs in A Clockwork Orange, and suggests that “even pinning their eyes open and forcing them to watch Yentl without sleep for days on end would not be sufficient punishment for these guys.”