Beit Shemesh: Haredim reject division plan
Ultra-Orthodox residents have expressed their objection to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s plan to divide Beit Shemesh into two separate cities – one for haredim and the other for secular and religious residents.
Members of the Sikrikim (Sicarii) extremist group explain that in such a case, they would prefer living under “secular rule”, while the moderate haredim fear a situation in which the zealots’ violence will be directed at them due to the absence of any other potential victims.
Mendel, who defined himself as “anti-Zionist” and supports some of the recent acts of violence in the city, told Ynet that his community members don’t really care about the religious or political affiliation of the government outside their own neighborhood, which they believe must be completely Orthodox.
He says the zealots prefer to see a secular person serve as the city’s mayor, explaining that just like right-wing government made more political concessions – a haredi mayor fears public criticism and is therefore careful not to discriminate in favor of his sector and basically harms it.