Footnote to the Beit Shemesh Stand-off
Gilbert N. Kahn is a professor of Political Science at Kean University.
There may turn out to be a touch of irony in the ugly confrontation in Beit Shemish between the haredi population and the modern Orthodox—as well as the secular. It seems that many in the community of religious Zionists in Beit Shemesh are relatively recent olim from the U.S. who know something about how to protest, to march, to demonstrate, and to demand change. Many of them were probably educated on these techniques in the Soviet Jewry protest movement and are accustomed to pushing the authorities, even the police. Remember, Americans brought the first “rent strikes” to Israel decades ago.