Friday, December 19, 2008

Russian immigrants attack Chareidim in Haifa

YNet reports:

The ultra Orthodox community has recently expressed concerns that the crime rate in the Hadar area of the northern Israeli city of Haifa is on the rise. Those concerns have been compounded by several violent attacks on residents of the area's religious neighborhoods.

Avi Weizmann, head of the Shas faction in the Haifa Municipality warned Thursday that unless the police crack down on crime in the area, local community members will have no choice but to take matters into their own hands. We will take to the streets and establish our own Orthodox patrols," he said. "We've come to a point where dozens of people have been brutally attacked in the Hadar Neighborhood. We cannot accept this violence and if the police won't take care of it, we will."

Most of the violent incidents have reportedly taken place in the area's Shtrug Park, which is frequented by the local Orthodox community, as well as the secular one, which is made up of many Russian immigrants. "The park is the center of a violent turf war, between the haredim, who are an innately closed society, and the immigrants, some of whom are not Jewish, who view them as the enemy," said a local resident. [...]

1 comment :

  1. The challenge of the non-Halachic Jews (gentiles according to Halacha) from the former USSR to The Jewish state of Israel.

    A Russian/Ukrainian immigrant has demanded to be called a Jew because he is now a pilot in the Israeli Air Force. He seemingly had in an interest in Judaism to convert but had to drop it to become an Israeli pilot, according the report below.

    As reported in 2008)

    "Immigrant IAF pilot fights to be recognized as a Jew

    Last update - 19/12/2008

    By Yair Ettinger, Haaretz Correspondent

    The Israel Air Force will receive its first non-Jewish pilot next week, when Andrei (whose last name is classified) receives his wings at the end of a long flight course.

    The blue-eyed, 24-year-old immigrant from Ukraine arrived in Israel nine years ago, in the framework of the Jewish Agency's Na'aleh study program for youngsters with Jewish backgrounds from the former Soviet Union, arriving ahead of their parents.

    His Jewish father and non-Jewish mother had planned to immigrate to Israel after him, but the plan did not work out. His mother and father will, however, come to the ceremony to see him receive his wings and become an F-16 fighter pilot.

    His entry into flight school was different from that of most cadets. When Andrei enlisted, he was sent to the Armored Corps as a combatant in a tank crew. He then became a commander, and eventually an officer. He used his time in the army, he says, to perfect his Hebrew. He also began the Israel Defense Forces' Nativ program for conversion into Judaism.

    The program was devised as part of the government and the Jewish Agency's efforts to convert to Judaism the 300,000 people who immigrated to Israel under the Law of Return from the former Soviet Union.

    Meanwhile, Andrei repeatedly sent applications to get accepted to flight school - but they were all promptly declined. "I thought that maybe it was because of it," he says, referring to the fact that he is not considered Jewish according to halakha, Jewish law. Today he says he knows that was not the reason.

    "Nowhere in the army - including flight school, of course - have I been treated differently because I'm not defined as Jewish," he says. "The commanders treated me just as they treated everyone else."

    While he was participating in the Nativ course, which seeks to teach non-Jewish soldiers about Judaism, Zionism, and the State of Israel, he received a positive response from the Air Force. He was in. To enter that class, Andrei had to drop the Nativ program before appearing before its special rabbinical tribunal, which could convert him into Judaism.

    "I wanted to take the course to deepen my knowledge of Judaism, to better connect to it," he says about Nativ, where he met his girlfriend. "And I also wanted to convert eventually. I knew it was important for my future, mainly for setting up a family here."

    During his six years in the army, Andrei has paid quite a few visits to the military cemetery on Mount Herzl, where soldiers who are neither Jewish, Muslim, Druze or Christian, like himself, are buried in a special non-Jewish plot, set aside from the other graves. "It bothered me every time. Why would a soldier like me not be buried alongside everyone else," he asks, recalling his feelings."

    Meanwhile, another earlier report also in (May 2008) stated that:

    "Secular Israelis wary of impact of non-Jewish olim

    By Anshel Pfeffer

    Last update - 05/06/2008

    About two-thirds of secular Israelis fear that accepting 300,000 non-Jewish immigrants could lead to assimilation, according to an Absorption Ministry survey.

    The study, the first to examine Israeli attitudes toward non-Jewish immigrants, reveals that 88 percent of secular people assume the immigrants were not motivated by Jewish concerns. Some 72 percent are concerned by these immigrants' tendency to remain in separate groups within society.

    More than half (54 percent) of secular Israelis said the immigration has caused social problems, and only 46 percent feel guilty that the immigrants are not better integrated in Israel. However, 61 percent believe that the immigrants have bolstered the Israeli economy, 82 percent would be glad to have non-Jewish neighbors, 77 percent see the immigrants as part of the Israeli nation and society, and 52 percent do not object to a family member marrying a non-Jewish immigrant.

    At the same time, most of the public are interested in helping them convert to Judaism and 74 percent are in favor of Orthodox conversion. But the same number of people - unlike most Orthodox rabbis - believe that they should be allowed to convert to Judaism even if they don't intend to maintain a religious way of life.

    The survey reflects a more stringent attitude on the part of the religious public, 89 percent of whom fear that the non-Jewish immigration would lead to assimilation and only 54 percent of whom are willing to live next door to non-Jewish immigrants. Fifty-five percent of religious people do not accept conversion for any purpose other than observing a religious way of life. However, the survey also showed a greater willingness to help immigrants to convert among the religious public. Two-thirds agreed to accompany a family in the process of conversion, 85 percent agreed to host a person undergoing conversion for the Sabbath and 79 percent are ready to accept the would-be converts in their children's schools.

    The Absorption Ministry wishes to use these figures to revive the bruised and tattered state-sponsored conversion system following its recent setbacks, including the Prime Minister's Office's dismissal of Conversion Authority head Rabbi Haim Druckman, after the Supreme Rabbinic Court deemed illegitimate thousands of conversions Druckman performed directly or indirectly."


please use either your real name or a pseudonym.